The alarm was raised in room 17 after a gallery assistant spotted a man appearing to spray two paintings with an aerosol can. Brilliant works from 1633, now covered in red spray paint. I literally gasped out loud when I saw this story on the news. Though these paintings survived centuries, in a moment were destroyed by a trigger-happy fool.
What words would you use to describe God? If He were painted on a canvas, what would His eyes say to you?
As I sat across a table from a woman who described her confusion about God, I realized that all of us carry canvases of God in our mind’s eye.
Spraying over His image with lies, failures and mistakes, humans keep adding to the canvas. A stroke, a spray, a mark, with their own cans of aerosol, they hide the one-of-a-kind piece. Then it’s hung in a public gallery and the masses make a verdict: He is angry, disappointed, uninterested, condemning and cold. The true face of God is buried beneath, unseen.
But if God is real, then He should have the final say on who He really is.
For the woman at the table, it was her parents’ divorcing when she was a little girl that left a sense of neglect hidden so deep in her heart, only to resurface 40 years later. Her canvas was altered. She was desperate to find the true picture of God.
We see God when we see Jesus. He is the untarnished picture of God, on display and revealed to the world. He is not hidden, but I’ve discovered there’s just no shortcut to getting to know Him.
The restoration work on our damaged canvases is long overdue. There is no steady hand that can chip away at the drips and stains except God’s Son, Jesus Christ. “We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created.” (Colossians 1:15, the Message)
Let Jesus paint the picture of God in your heart.