Have you ever looked at a painting and seen only the strokes, not the whole picture? Kerryn describes how this images was an answer to her prayer.
“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
On holidays at a friend’s beach house, I’m lying on the bed looking at the half open mirror door in front of me. I see the reflection of most of an oil painting hanging above my bed head. It’s incomplete, but only because I know what it should look like. Lying here, I know that there’s more and it’s frustrating not to be able to see the whole painting!
Looking at only part of this painting in the reflection, and too ill and tired to move the mirror door to get the whole view, I suddenly “got it!” I understood what the Lord was saying to me, in this particular moment, about a few things.
I was having a quiet time with the Lord and I was struggling with so many questions about my illness, my son’s illness, my husband’s running between us and his dying mother, God’s timing, and the list goes on and on and on! But right here, God spoke to me and it hit home in a fresh new way.
I know that my life is a “poor reflection as in a mirror” and I know that there’s more, so much more. I get frustrated, ask questions and yet I know that life with the Lord will be amazingly wonderful in Heaven. But right now, I am living in this moment on earth.
Although the image of my family’s life is rough, incomplete and imperfect, it is wonderful if I take the time to see the beauty in the rough brush strokes. Look too closely and the rough strokes are just mixed colors, mixed directions, lumps and bumps and look awful. Viewing the rough brush strokes at a greater distance the picture evolves and becomes clearer. There is beauty, with an artist’s purpose and vision behind it.
So, right at this moment, I’m standing back to look at a distance at the bigger picture of our family. I’m teary and thankful for our closeness and the beauty that is evolving through the intensity of the Artist’s rough brush strokes in our lives. I look forward to viewing “our painting” one day through the Artist’s eyes. For now, it is enough for me to know that my Heavenly Father is the Creator of something of rare beauty in, and through, our family’s lives. I know deep within my soul that He is doing something special with us.
Prayer: Lord, sometimes all I can see and feel are the rough brush strokes of life. Please help me to view my life at a distance and to glimpse the beauty that You see. Thank You that You have purpose and vision in all that You create. Help me to trust You Lord. Amen.
About the Author:
Kerryn Wright lives with her family amongst the gum trees in South Australia. She was a special education teacher prior to chronic illness. Her husband is carer for three of their family, who have chronic illnesses and disabilities. God has always guided them through life’s challenges, often in surprising ways.
What do you do to stand back when the “rough brush strokes” of your life become unfathomable? How do you get a deeper perspective? What verses enlighten you?
Sometimes it can feel like all we see are the rough strokes in our painting — or that we are paddling all alone. I love this video by Dong Haeng called “Guidance.” This simple animated cartoon is a nice reminder God is always there. -Lisa