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Thursday, February 21, 2013

What Are You Making Of Me?



(Imaginary) Five year old Michelangelo lifted his eyes briefly to the mountains surrounding the small mountain village where he dwelt, then bent his back studiously to the task at hand.
Another brother came and looked over his shoulder. “What are you making, Michelangelo?”

“You will see later,” he replied, covering it briefly with his hand, then again picked up a small chiseling knife to carve on his work of art.
“I, to, can do that!” We’ll call him Joseph, declared enthusiastically. The eight year old hurried to a shelf in the back where many homemade bars of soap were individually wrapped.  He chose one and perched on a stool near his brother, and started slashing away enthusiastically.
“You need to go slowly,” his little brother offered sagely.
“Huh! What do you know?” Joseph scoffed. “You are just a little boy. Besides I’m not doing anything as picky as you. I’m doing an elephant!”
For fifteen minutes silence reigned, then Michelangelo glanced over at Joseph’s production.
“That looks good,” he conceded. “That ear looks so real!”
“Of course! I’m good at it!” He proceeded to vigorously attack the soap in order to carve the trunk. “I broke it! That stupid trunk fell off!” He held the two pieces together, then cast them aside. “This is silly girl play: I’m going outside.”
It was quiet in the dimly lit cottage with all of his four brothers occupied elsewhere. Michelangelo lifted his piece of soap to a shaft of light and smiled faintly. He sometimes wished his mother would have lived  longer. She would have liked this. Pa thinks it is foolishness.
Michelangelo stroked his finger lightly, lovingly over the cheek of the fairy, then added a few details to the wing. Anyone can see that it is a fairy. It’s not like Joseph’s elephant. He glanced scornfully at the discarded hunk of soap then carefully blew off a flake of soap caught in a crevice.
Pa came in and scolded him roundly for making such a mess. He sighed and cleaned up the slivers of soap and placed Joseph’s unfinished elephant back on the shelf.
For two days he had been working patiently on his little production. Perhaps tonight he could put it on the shelf beside the small statue of his mother.

Many years passed and Michelangelo still exhibited that same carefulness as he worked. His amazing ability to carve life-like figures from marble brought him much fame. One day Michelangelo stood in front of the huge slab of (damaged) marble in his well lighted studio and gazed at it from all angels. He paced around it, with his hands behind his back, and examined it thoughtfully. Somewhere inside was hiding a greater than life-size replica of David the shepherd boy, He was not about to touch the marble until he could picture it clearly in his mind’s eye, and then he would work slowly, so slowly, so that nothing would be flawed.

We, too, are a work in progress in the hands of the Master. He is not working with something like marble  but in pliable clay. Sometimes a stone shows up and must be worked out. Sometimes we get hard and brittle and it takes awhile for Him to soften us up again so that He can continue modeling. Day by day the Creator wants to continue fashioning us into the vessel which is most suited for His purpose. Have patience and yield in His hands. He knows what He is doing.