I’m a terrible artist. Truly—I’m awful. I cannot draw, sketch, or paint an image to save my life. But there are many times when I wish that I could.
I’d draw my first Christmas with snow. Snowflakes—big, wet, and fleecy—tumble and swirl down to the ground. They cover the ground and transform the world into pure white wonder. I’d draw myself standing in the tumbling whiteness. Lifting my hands up high—desperately trying to touch it. To catch it. To feel it. To remember it forever.
Memories. Many of them beautiful. Many sad. Many that strange melancholy mixture of bittersweet. We often sigh when we remember them. Because we really want to step back into the canvas of our past and relive the wonder of those memories.
Or maybe, I would sketch the portraits of what might have been. I’d set up my easel and pestle and carefully, tediously sketch all the details of the moments that could have happened—but didn’t.
I sketch his or her face—the face of a friendship that might have been. All the disappointments of life…I’d transform them on my canvas into satisfactions.
Or, with bright, bold, and hopeful hues, I’d stroke all faces, places, and times of what could be. All my glittering, perfect little dreams. I’d sketch them out—one by one. They’d be beautiful, perfect, and happy.
And there they would lie—a thousand canvases. A million colors. And countless dreams and memories. If I put them in a building, it would be as full and vibrant as the MET or the Louvre.
But I don’t think it’s just me. I think humanity is desperate to hold the paint, brushes, and canvases of our lives.
A while ago, I had the privilege of visiting the Louvre in Paris. Millions of amazing works of art fill that museum. They were breathtaking. But in one inconspicuous area of the museum, there was a large mirror on a wall. As I walked past it, I saw myself in its reflection. Then it hit me. I am God’s work of art. In fact, because of all the tourists present, the mirror revealed hundreds of people walking past. Hundreds of masterpieces. Truly, our lives are great works of art in progress.
At times, I think I could do a much better job. But in the end, I know I’d walk around the shrine of my own pictures and paintings, and I’d see a mirror. And I’d laugh and shake my head. Because somehow, I’d fooled myself into thinking that I could sketch my life out better than my own Creator could.
And I’m grateful. I’m grateful for tumbling snowflakes He’s deemed fit to flurry across the canvas of my life. I’m grateful for the beautiful people, places, and opportunities He’s sketched in. And even when I see some colors I don’t like or wish to see the colors and faces of what might have been, I remind myself, I’m a terrible artist, but God is the Masterpiece-Maker.