We were reminded tonight that a “good” piece of art is the product of many trials, many failures … not numbering and counting … but persisting …
Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn’t force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly silent and vast. I learn it every day of my life, learn it with pain I am grateful for: patience is everything! ~Rainer Maria Rilke
I love the word picture of ripening – it applies not just to the life of the artist, but also to our spiritual journey. The tree stays connected – the roots go deep, especially during the winter season. The tree soaks up nourishment. When the time is right, the warmth returns, the tree bears fruit.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. ~John 15:4
Trying, trusting, persisting, remaining … Brennan Manning writes, “The basic premise of biblical trust is that the God and Father of Jesus Christ wants us to live, to grow, to unfold, and to experience fullness of life. Trust is an attitude acquired gradually through many crises and trials.”
There is a song … from some years past … our art lessons have brought it to mind …
Life started out like a canvas And God started painting on me
but I took the paintbrush from Jesus and painted what I wished to see.
The colors I painted kept running and the objects were all out of size –
I had made a mess of my painting; my way now seemed so unwise.
So I brought my painting to Jesus.
All the colors,all the pieces so wrong.
In the markets of earth it was worthless,
but His blood made my painting belong.
He worked with no condemnation, never mentioned the mess I had
Then he dipped His brush in the rainbow,
and He signed it, “the price has been paid.”
When I gave the brush back to Jesus,
when I gave the brush back to him –
He started all over life’s canvas to fill,
When I gave to Jesus the brush of my will.
~ Chuck Millhuff