Yesterday afternoon, I had a phone conversation with my nephew. He told me his suitcase was packed to come to “West Birginia” for Turkey day. He then proceeded to tell me that he would like for me to have treats in my suitcase when I picked him up at the airport. He doesn’t fully understand that I won’t have a suitcase at the airport but at two years old he has fully mastered the understanding that when I come to “Hutsie’s” house-I come with a suitcase packed full of bare necessities and numerous treats for him. Even though every visit to Houston is filled with massive amounts of high fructose corn syrup and my heart explodes with overwhelming happiness when we eat ice cream from the carton, share cupcakes for breakfast, or sneak guppies (known as fruit snacks to the rest of the world) upstairs before bedtime, my favorite treats are his artistic masterpieces. I know that my sister is the mastermind and driving force behind most of my Hudson masterpieces but his scribbles and stickers are his own personal touch, his own way of making me the most blessed aunt on the planet. I have kept every piece of artwork he has ever sent me in 2 years and I love them all beyond words but during my last visit, he painted me my absolute favorite masterpiece to date. We were at the Houston Children’s museum and while he was painting my sister asked him what his picture was called. His response, “I love aunt Jay Jay.” Yes, I am proud to say that I cried in a crowded museum in front of God and everybody as soon as the words left his mouth. And I am proud to say that no one could ever love that little dude more than his Aunt Jay Jay.
Despite my increased ability to draw trains and railroad crossings (Hudson’s favorite things), my artistic abilities rank pretty low on my list of talents. If you’ve ever seen my drawings you would support my claim that I won’t be producing masterpieces anytime soon. But my (and your) very existence is a masterpiece created by God. He is the mastermind and driving force behind every part of my being. He knows my inmost thoughts, fears, and desires. He knows all of my faults, failures, and shortcomings. He knows every hardship I will face; every situation I will overcome. And he knows every painful scar of my heart. I wish I could be proud to say that if you saw the canvas that God saw, you would see a beautiful masterpiece, but you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t because I have put my own personal touches on my life. I have splattered my canvas with sin, shame, fear, anger, pride, resentment, and bitterness. I have left stickers and scribbles I wish I could permanently erase. I have allowed the stains of worldly opinions outweigh the saving grace and redeeming blood of Jesus. I have allowed my tattered version of myself be the framework of my life opposed to allowing God to make all things new. I have viewed God’s most skillful, intricate, beautiful artistic skills like black paint stains on the Mona Lisa. But despite my attempts to ruin God’s masterpiece, He still loves me beyond words. He still wipes away every “ugly” area of my life and puts His own personal touches on it. He uses what I once saw as permanent vandalism to his beautiful creation as a way to show Himself off through me. He takes every one of my poor artistic talents and refines it until I see exactly what He sees. The refining process isn’t always enjoyable or as short as I would like but necessary in order for my life to be a testimony of who He is. A testimony that despite what I see or more importantly what the world sees; I am God’s masterpiece. It’s easy to be defeated by the world’s view of who we are and it’s even easier to take yourself down the “you are a no good dirty bum” road in your own life. Satan finds great delight in keeping us from who we are in Christ because quite frankly he’s scared to death of the power we will come to know once we realize who we are in Christ. It takes strength and a genuine relationship with the one who created you to understand that He loves you in spite of your poor artistic abilities. To understand that we may see scribbles but the one holding the paintbrush sees a masterpiece. To understand that we may have to wait until the day we meet our maker/artist to stand in awe of the finished masterpiece. But to me the wait is worth it because I know God is proud to say in front of everyone, no one will ever love this little dudette like He does.
Saturday afternoon, I will show up at the airport with a bag (or suitcase) full of numerous treats for the most fabulous two year old in the galaxy. To him, it will be system overload as he sifts through all of his favorite high fructose corn syrup snacks. To his parents, it will be a reminder to buy my future children ten times as many treats and the beginning of their “you are going to give him diabetes” speech. To me, it will be moment number six zillion of favorites with my main squeeze. My main squeeze, Jesus, whose greatest artistic masterpiece to date was fearfully and wonderfully creating me to be my favorite everything’s Aunt Jay Jay.
Verse to remember:
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well.