Friday, October 7, 2011

Coloring Inside the Lines

Sometime before 1508, Leonardo da Vinci took up a pencil and began to sketch. He knew what men were meant to be--the image and likeness of God--and he intended to remind them in a place where they would have to look toward heaven to see it--on the roof of the Sistine Chapel. He drew boldly, a muscular Adam, naked and vulnerable in his first moments of life, but his first strokes bore only a shadow of what da Vinci saw in his head.

His first sketches incorporated no color, no texture, no life. Only black and white, they carried the image, but shared no likeness with the finished product. They didn't yet breathe.

We share the same incomplete state. God created us in His image but intends for us His likeness, and as we live and let Him do His work in us, He fills in the empty places, transferring with His own finger an eternal glory only He can confer.

We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is Spirit.--2Corinthians 3:13,16,18

We begin as an outline, a vague echo of our Creator, and as we live and daily approach Him with sincere humility and reverence and repentant acknowledgement of sin, He fills in all the empty places with His own life, His own blood. One by one, all the small details bring dimension and make us more real, not only more like what God made us in His head, but like the first Adam, perfectly complete, who walked in Eden by God's side in the cool of every day. We take on life, and what began as a poor shell assumes heavenly glory.

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