Tuesday, October 13, 2015


                He sat before the blank canvas for just a moment, staring at its emptiness. Then, with a twinkle in his eye, he picked up his brush and dipped it into the paint. He began with bold strokes that at first glance looked like nothing more than chaotic lines marring the clean surface of the canvas. Surveying what he had done, he laid done his brush and picked up another. This one was smaller and created finer lines. With it he began to transform the chaos into more meaningful shapes.

                The formless chaos was transformed into a beautiful landscape. Skillfully he added definition the canvas. A blue patch was transformed into a body of water. A brown line became a beach. The blotches of green became rolling hills. What had been independent strokes of the brush were blended into a unified whole. To the original bold colors, the artist added variation and new shades, blending shapes together and redefining each image. He paused for a moment to gaze at his work. Smiling he dipped his brush in paint thinner and meticulously cleaned its fine bristles.

                Picking up another brush, the artist starting adding more detail. Trees adorned the rolling hills. Open spaces were transformed into waving fields of grass. Flowers of various colors emerged with the skillful stroke of his brush. Soon the canvas was alive with color and texture. Each new object was purposefully put in place. Each object was adorned with meticulous detail, as if it was the most important part of the painting. Leaning back on his stool, the artist examined his work with a critical eye.

                The artist took a deep breath and reached for a clean brush. He looked carefully at the landscape before him, and then, dipping his brush in paint, he leaned forward. Gently, he added the form of a deer, just emerging from the edge of the wood. At the edge of the water, he placed a wolf, leaning forward to lap up the cool water. He placed a majestic eagle soaring effortlessly in the sky above.  Out in the lake, he included a trout, just breaking the surface of the water with its back. On a tree in the field, he added a family of tiny sparrows. And, in the corner, he added an owl, almost invisible on the branch of an old oak tree.

                Again the artist leaned back and looked intently at his painting. He stood up and stretch his back. He took several steps away from the canvas and took in the whole scene. The canvas was full, but not crowded. There was form and symmetry, but it was not stiff and linear. There was life in the artist’s work. A smile of pleasure flowed across his face.

                After a few moments of contemplation, the artist seated himself before the canvas. Taking his brush in hand, he placed the figure of a man working out in the field. Near the edge of the water, he placed a woman washing clothes. Under a tree, he placed two small children playing with a puppy. He paused to take in all that he had painted. Then, with great intentionality, he added one last figure are the very center of the painting; at the very focal point. It was figure of a man, and the face was the face of the artist.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. John 1:1-2

 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 

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