Truth Like A Painting

The artist slowly, methodically and very carefully lays stroke after stroke to the canvas.  He tries to hold the vision in his head long enough to transform it from blood into paint, from life into line, and from thoughts onto canvas.  He is obsessed with this one painting.  The image and essence in his head is restless and wants out, but it is difficult to convince it to hold still long enough for his heart to fully feel it.  But the artist has no choice but to be slave to the flash of divine; he lets it haunt him and tries to capture some of it on the canvas in bits and pieces.  So the artist strokes the canvas carefully at times fearing a mistake and at other times joyfully free, taking liberty in the metamorphosis.  As the vision swells in vividness, he paints like a mad-man; and as the vision fades, he seeks in silence to put light back into it.

Once it rained on his almost complete work when he was young and he lamented too long on his fate.  Once in disgust, he threw the painting across his path and trampled it under foot because it was inadequate and pitiful.  But now with patience, the artist has figured out the mystery of the method.  So with steady hand he gladly strokes the worn canvas and previously imperfect attempts with fresh paint; layer upon layer he coats over what was rejected inwardly and seemingly meaningless.  The colors begin to take on a life of their own because of the deepness of their layering and texture.  The vision doesn’t dance around in his head like a rolling fog anymore because part of it has been captured on the canvas for his eyes to see, like a lighthouse on the horizon, giving him reference.  As he feels the work approach the divine, he continually compares the work in front of him to what the vision speaks.  All of the imperfections and the streaks from the rain and the dirt from his trampling have given the canvas depth and character, and the artist continues lovingly to give life to the painting.

Finally at peace, he steps away and looks upon it.  He realizes that what he has painted looks incomplete:  there are parts missing and the piece only slightly resembles the vision that has so haunted him!  The artist sits back down; he lifts his brush in anguish to continue his work but then freezes…the painting looks marvelous, just the way it is…he couldn’t change a thing.  And then it dawns on him: it is all about perspective.  When close to the painting, one can see the beauty in it; but when viewed from a distance, it looks to be part of something bigger, like a piece of a puzzle that remains a mystery.

So the artist put a frame around the painting, his people marveled at it, and they shared in the beauty of it.  The the artist withdrew again to his studio; he tried and tried to find more of the divine inspiration to express.  But he could not find it.  He did not realize that there were many other artists sitting in their studios, just like himself, waiting on the Inspiration.  In loneliness, each painter wonders what to paint next.  Each is vexed with pacing the floor of their studio, sitting silently in the dark, or lamenting numbness… and each artist approaches madness.

Their God can only smile as He knowingly prepares the artists’ hearts to one day behold each of the others’ work.  And they will see the edification and fruition of their collective vision, His vision, coming together like a living painting.  Each painting is complete yet incomplete, and together they will complete the vision, capture the Power, and bring life to the people!  Their God waits in anticipation for the time quickly approaching…when every artist will pray, when each realizes their part was perfect, when each realizes that together they achieve the infinite beauty of the whole.  Their God waits for just the right time…

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