The Artist's Scalpel

April 21, 2010
by Julie Klassen

Several years ago, my husband and I were strolling along the shores of nearby Harrison Lake, admiring the wares of the vendors who had set up temporary shop on the sand. One artist and his work caught my attention, and I stopped.

I learned that this French artist had been fascinated one day by slabs of slate stone, the jagged edges begging him to be painted into mountain scenes.

He had numerous resulting pieces on display, but my eye immediately rested on one in particular. It was as if he had sat in my family room and painted using the colours around him.

I loved it! I went closer and instinctively reached out to touch it. The artist had been watching me, and as I reached out, he cried, "Don't touch it!" "Too late," he added, "It's still wet!"

To my dismay, I had already left my thumb smudge in the wet paint, and the picture perfection was ruined. His face severe, the artist handed me a scalpel. "Now you have to fix it," he said.

I took the scalpel in my hand and looked at the painting. I knew I could not repair the damage I had done.

Then the artist's face broke out in a smile, his eyes twinkled, and he said, "I'll fix it!"

With a few deft strokes of his hand, the painting was as good as new! He joked, "A hundred years from now, when they scrape back the paint, they will find your fingerprint and accredit you as the artist!"

Of course, I bought the beautiful slab of slate.

How like the artist God is, and how quick we are to mess up what He has done. In the Garden of Eden, God said, "Don't touch!" but Adam and Eve touched and ruined perfection with their sin. God gave them the old covenant and said, "Fix it!" but of course, man in his own strength could not do it. Then God smiled, took the old covenant, perfected it through Jesus, and offered us all the new covenant — perfect!

When we receive His offer, our personal imprint of sin is covered over. Eternity is ours at a price we can afford: our faith in the Artist's work.

But God continues to cover our "imprints", does He not? We fail, we stumble, we touch, and He is ready, scalpel in hand, to make it right again.

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness! (NKJV)

One day when we are standing at heaven's door and are asked why we should be allowed in, we will be able to say, "Because the imprint of my sin is covered by the redemptive work of the great Artist!"

Romans 4:7 – Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. (NKJV)

Prayer: Dear Father, we thank You for Your willing heart to take scalpel in hand and restore us to wholeness when we sin. May we be quick to run to You in repentance before our hearts have time to harden. Amen.

About the author:

Julie Klassen <>
Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada

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