Fresh Starts

20110728-024848.jpgA few years ago, I tried to capture the idea of creo ex nihilo on a 3’x4′ canvas. I never liked the painting. It didn’t say what I wanted. In fact, it seemed completely mute.

When me moved last year, I hung the painting in my craft room/art studio where no one but me had to look at it. Everyday, I have come into the room and thought, “really need to do something with that thing” then I turn my back on it and create much more satisfying pieces.

Today, I finished a smaller, very different piece that captured exactly what I was trying to say with the first canvas. (Really more creo ex cor than ex nihilo.) So, I finally removed the monstrosity from the wall, got out my gesso, and began erasing my mistake. As I was doing this, I was reminded of a few of Life’s more important lessons:

1. There are certain things that are too valuable to just chuck in the garbage. But they can always be repurposed.

2. Nothing is too old, or too far gone to be corrected.

3. Erasing mistakes is often messy, but may be one of the most joyful activities in the universe.

It strikes me that, in this life, Christ has the same opinion of us that I have of my canvas. To Christ we are too valuable to be merely thrown away. If we will let Him, though, He will happily give us a new purpose in life. Likewise, we are never too old or too far gone to change. That change is often messy (not unlike the gesso I had to clean out of the carpet after I coated the canvas), but the joy of finally having a purpose, of knowing that mistakes are being erased and relationships restored makes the mess worthwhile.

I’m not sure what I’ll be doing with this canvas, but I have the seeds of an idea germinating in my head so I’m not worried. For now I’m just basking in the glory of knowing that I can start over.


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