I have a friend who is a gifted visual artist, and her musings and artistic insights often strike me as significantly profound life lessons. Well, the other day, as we sat on her patio taking in the warmth of the spring sun while pouring over paper and pastels, she began scribbling on a page. That’s right, my friend, the gifted artist, took the yellow pastel and began marking up the page in random strokes. Then she took the brown pastel and did the same. Basically, she filled a section of the page with random yellow and brown marks- like a very young child. Honestly, the paper was a mess. Just a random chaotic bunch of scribble marks. “Is this art? Is this beauty?” I thought.
Of course not. That was her whole point. She was going to take me beyond the scribbles. After she completed “messing up the page,”, she began righting the mess she had made. The tangled lines and muddied colors became ordered lines and purposeful color in her skilled hands. They became a picture. As an artist, she had mastered the techniques necessary to bring order from chaos- even the chaos of her own making. You see, she was demonstrating to me that the artist could attain the skill to overcome the chaos of the “oops” thereby rectifying the wrongs and making them into rights.
This was a simple yet profound demonstration. And it extends beyond artistic technique. Actually, this was a wonderful visual of a profound theological truth. Like the scribbles on the page, our lives on this fallen planet tend toward chaotic disorder. Think of the implications of chronic illness, toxic exposures, broken relationships, sinful penchants, and even messy rooms. Chaos and disorder naturally flow from our fallenness. However, we are not to remain in this disorder. Like my friend, a master artist, our God, the Master Artist, skillfully brings beauty from the scribbles of our lives- even the scribbles of our own making.
Further, as image bearers of the Master Artist, we bring order from the chaotic scribbles of life. All human beings inherently realize this truth. It is built into the organizing structures of any culture. However, for those who recognize their place under the Master, reordering activities take on a new dimension. Even the menial tasks of cleaning up that messy room or taking another supplement to overcome a deficit are recognized as image bearing activities – activities that overcome chaos. It is all a part of righting the scribbles.
So today, I encourage you to take a paper and some crayons, sit down in quiet comfortable spot, and begin scribbling. Fill the page with chaos BUT don’t leave it that way. Take those same crayons and begin turning the twisted lines into meaningful pictures. At first, you might not be too good at this process. You may not have the necessary skills. Don’t worry. The Master Artist will teach you all that you need to know to overcome the scribbles on your page.
Take time to meditate today not upon your scribbles but upon the beauty He is creating from them even as you handle the crayon with skill He imparts.
By Jennifer Potter – Dr. Potter’s wonderful wife