Luke 17:5-6 – The apostles came up and said to the Master, "Give us more faith." But the Master said, "You don't need more faith. There is no 'more' or 'less' in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, 'Go jump in the lake,' and it would do it." (MSG)
Over the course of my life, I have always coveted the limited time in which I have pursued oil painting. As a busy pastor, I rarely seem to find the time.
For a birthday, my son, Jeff, encouraged me to return to this gift with which God has blessed me. Jeff gifted me with various canvases, brushes, and acrylic paints — enough to begin anew. It was the encouragement I needed.
An accomplished artist in our congregation agreed to give me a series of weekly oil painting lessons. I began painting a scene based on a favourite photo of a lake with a backdrop of rolling hills, taken here in the beautiful Okanagan in British Columbia. The sky in the photo was an amazing blue, the lake awash in vibrant greens and blues, and the foreground alive in trees of deep green hues with contrasting scarlet ground foliage.
I began painting in earnest, both with my instructor's help and on my own. It was profoundly satisfying to get back to something I loved, although frustrating to get the images and the colours just right. But when my ability was found wanting, my instructor stepped in. She would use her expert eye and hand to mix the colours and apply them in a way that brought life — not necessarily the colours of the photograph, but, creatively and with artistic licence, those colours which best complimented the scene.
I realized that on my own, I was unable to make the painting all it should be, a painting which I could be proud to hang and display. I had the ability and desire to begin, but it was only with the master's touch that my painting really came alive and true to the rich and diverse landscape which it was intended to portray.
So it is with life. We are able to make only so much of our lives. But if we recognize how much better our lives might become if we allow the Master's touch to add and refine, our lives begin to become all they were meant to be: beautiful scenes of life as it was intended, able to take on a reflection of the Master Himself, and to allow His work to shine through.
Prayer: Lord, come into our lives anew. Touch us, and mould us into the fine work that only You truly see in us. Allow us to become all You intended and created us to be. Enable us to be accurate and true reflections of Your love. Amen.
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