"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." ~Michelangelo
Someone once asked the great Italian sculptor how he knew what to carve away from the block of stone on which he was working. He replied, "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."
Michelangelo provides a lovely example of what God the Great Sculptor is doing in my own life. It's a work in progress, this sculpting and hewing. Sometimes it's a secret work. Sometimes it's a hard work. Sometimes it's a painful work.
But yet, I dare to rest in the truth that He does see the finished product, the true me, even when I can't. What He sees is good...lovely...perfect.
When I remember the ancient words in Paul's letter to the Romans that God can make all things work together for my good, that work also includes the careful 'hewing away' of all that is not beautiful... all that yet imprisons me in stony walls of darkness.
As yet we are like a secret work in progress, and until all the rough walls are hewed away, not every eye will see us as He sees us. But one day, we will be freed to be our true selves -- sons and daughters sculpted into the beautiful image and likeness of Jesus our Lord. We will be revealed, even as He was.
That is a most hopeful thought. He says of me, I saw her in the marble and carved until I set her free. He says that of you.
I've caught a glimpse this morning... something that brings renewed hope and strength for my journey. Now I wish you a glimpse of grace and renewed courage for yours.