The Act of Becoming

St Matthew unfinished

And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:4

Though I dabble with different art mediums, there is one art form that I have never attempted, though I would have loved to master it.

The idea of taking granite or marble and sculpting the form of something beautiful from it is so intriguing.

Circumstances as they are, that is probably something I will never attempt to do.

I think about the Michelangelo quote:

“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it."

I remember reading about an unfinished statue of St. Matthew that Michelangelo had begun, but never finished.  I looked up the statue and as I was looking at it, my imagination could see the figure struggling to break free from the stone - to be what it was intended to be.

It made me think of our lives with chronic illness.  It sometimes feels to me as if I am struggling against my challenges, trying so hard to be "me," but being held back by my limitations. They hold me back.

It also made me think of the times I give up.  Of the times I fight against the chipping away and hewing out of the things in this life that are holding me back from being who God created me to be. This time, it is me who is doing the holding back.

I guess it depends on how you look at it. Yet, either choice contains a struggle.

I realize that when I am struggling against my limitations, that I am fighting God.  Now, I am not at all saying that we should not try our hardest in this life.  I am saying that sometimes doors are firmly shut and we often go on trying and trying to open them.

Once again, I see my challenges as my teachers.  They are what is refining me, challenging me to be me with my challenges and not fight against them in a way that holds me back from being the creation of God's intent.

I don't truly have answers here.  I know, though, that I now see that sculpture in a different way.  Rather than being trapped in stone, I see St. Michael (and myself) in the act of becoming.

Becoming what?

Whatever vision is in God's eyes.

It is just up to me to allow the process, both in challenging myself to make the most we can of this life and to learn from the lessons, painful or not.

For whatever reason, St. Michael was never finished.  He stays imprisoned in that stone.

But for us?  God has promised us that we will see that day of completion.  One day we will fully be the person He created us to be.

Father God, Thank you for the many illustrations we can draw from this world to help us understand the ways you work in our lives.  Help us to be accepting of the processes that comfort us to the image of Your son, to the image you have had of us since the beginning of time.  Amen and amen.


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