Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day. (Psalm 139:13-16 The Message)
I have seen this image reproduced on journal covers, and cited as a beautiful illustration of God’s creation and connection with humans. But I’ve never seen it in context, until yesterday. Not at the Sistine Chapel, but in a local sanctuary on a big screen. To see Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam in a greater context, opened up a whole new perspective on this famous image.
The pastor used this image to illustrate God’s yearning for each one of us. He noticed that every muscle in the portrayal of God seems to strain toward Adam, while Adam appears to be at ease or maybe even indifferent. His observations were notable, but my initial response was the awe of a new discovery. My knowledge of the famous painting was lacking context. That there was more to the painting than the two fingers almost touching in mid-space expanded my knowledge. I couldn’t believe that I had missed out on the broader perspective all these years.
I am having a hard time putting my feelings into words; I’m just weaving phrases together to make sense of this new awareness. The whole experience seems like an awakening of sorts.
All those characters encompassing God’s sphere mesmerized me. I wondered who they were and why Michelangelo painted them as part of God’s image.
Context impacts perspective. As a writer and artist, I understand that I can only share a limited glimpse of who I am with others through my writing and art. Yet, I still share because I want others to know me. And when we share a part of ourselves, somehow we relate.
For instance, I was reading a blog today from writer/artist and friend, Amanda Stanley. She was writing about Sad Days. Little did she know that I was having a similar experience across town on the very same day. I am just getting to know Amanda and her family, through common experiences of sharing art and faith, and our love for writing books and blogs, and showing up and pushing through to make our contribution to the world, even when we are afraid or sad or tired or however we may be feeling.
And while we have this common bond, I know that I might be taking some of our experience out of context, because there is so much more to know, so much more we haven’t even had the opportunity to share with each other.
I invite you to hop over to her blog and read more of her story. I like this quote that she shared recently, and I believe reading her blog will impact your life in a similar way.
Context is necessary for our relationship with God, too. There’s so much we don’t know, can’t know or may never know this side of the canvas.
But I find comfort in the knowledge that God does know, knows so much more and knows us outside of time, even. It’s all quite mind blowing and one blog post will never put it into context. Yet, I hope this small glimpse will broaden our mutual perspectives.
Speaking of perspective, as there’s no clever way to lead into my next thought, let me tell you how I’m feeling about February. February is the shortest month of the year, but to me it’s the longest month of winter, so to keep myself from losing perspective, I am dusting off some journal prompts and inspirational quotes I gathered last year to offer:
29 Days of Seeing NEW: A Perspective Journey
Come back tomorrow to learn more. If you haven’t subscribed to soulPantry, I invite you to do so, as it would be a convenient way to gather the prompts in your inbox. Like I said more details tomorrow, but if you’re looking for a way to improve your perspective about winter, life or even your own creative pursuits, I believe this series will have something for YOU!
Prompt for Today: To me a new journey means . . .