As our court date nears I have been reflecting a lot on the journey that God has taken us on in these last twelve months. There has been heartache, frustration, joy and anxiety.
I can look and see God’s hand in every step, and the idea of being able to travel to Ethiopia with Dustin and Jen seems to be by His design. But I also hesitate to assume God’s plan in all of this even still.
I was thinking about this the other night when an idea began to form in my head, an illustration of what this journey has been like.
A Painting by the Master
I had seen his work before, hung in the homes of friends. His paintings were breathtaking and made the room seem alive. Those that had a painting by the Master could speak of nothing else.
And now? He was painting one for me.
The canvas was expansive and seemed to fill the small room that we stood in.
“I will paint a landscape for you,” the Master said.
Did he not know that my soul longed for a portrait instead? But it was the Master. I dared not question Him or relay my request.
“All right,” I said with hesitation.
His brush began to color the canvas before Him. Wide, broad strokes quickly filled the space with muted colors. What was once emptiness began to take form before me.
I looked around, searching for the image that was inspiring His work. But there was none. There were no clues as to what my finished masterpiece would look like.
My excitement began to grow as I watched beauty unfold.
“Is it the ocean?” I asked. “I love the ocean. It’s where I’ve always wanted to live. Could you paint the ocean for me?” I pleaded.
I felt ungrateful. The Master had agreed to create a painting for me and I was making demands.
He just looked at me as if he understood my heart’s desire. My request was not even needed.
The horizon became clear and I watched as he began to fill in the details of my masterpiece with each brush stroke. I began to envision the finished painting, the ocean waves rushing up on a sandy shore.
Suddenly, with a quick motion, He painted a black swatch of color across one corner of his canvas.
My heart stumbled. What was that? Had He changed his mind about what he was painting? He was ruining my masterpiece.
“What is that supposed to be?” I asked with despair.
He looked at me with love in His eyes, but said nothing. He returned to His painting.
I held back the tears, and even walked away for a moment, as He continued to work.
When I returned, more of the image had taken shape.
I was captivated once again, yearning to know what the finished piece would look like. Occasionally, he would add a stroke of paint that wouldn’t seem to make sense but I stayed quiet, just watching.
He was almost done, His brush filling in the details of my ocean landscape. Putting down His paintbrush he turned to look at me.
My masterpiece was not what I had thought it would be. There were no waves rushing up on the sand.
No, it was more beautiful than my mind could have even imagined. Jagged and rocky cliffs met the crashing ocean waves in a brilliant display of beauty.
The black mark I had questioned earlier had become a hawk, majestically soaring over the ocean.
What I thought were mistakes and blemishes in my painting were really His finishing touches.
All along the Master had seen what I could not.
Our masterpiece is not done yet, but I feel as if I am watching him cast the final strokes in the coming days. Will we pass court on Friday? Will Dustin and Jen pass court on Tuesday?
If no, then I rest in knowing that my masterpiece, though different than what I think I want, will be beautiful nonetheless.