In the Mediaeval times there was a period where the art was developing in leaps and bounds. Profiles and pictures of humans went from looking flat and disproportionate to gaining depth and expression like never seen before. Soon pictures went from the individual to multiple group paintings of various settings. Paintings began to communicate much more than simply the beauty of a local landscape or a person’s image. Historical occasions and Biblical narratives were being painted to convey particular messages.
These Renaissance masters studied each other’s methods and excelled in their pursuits. Kings and nobles commissioned various masters to create distinct impressions of their rule and their kingdoms.
The story is told of one of the Masters that had an only child. She was about the age of six when she saw her father clear a canvas one evening and begin to paint. She knew he would not reject her as she climbed up in his lap. Without a word he gave her the pallet of paint and a fresh brush.
Apart from any forethought she began to paint - this way and that way, here a little, there a little, with seemingly no rhyme or reason. Her father, after letting her doodle for some time, looked at her, and she asked him to teach her how to paint. He then gently put his hand over hers and guided her brushstrokes showing her how to paint a simple cluster of grapes on the vine.
Forgetting all time, she continued on her own for awhile until her father stilled her hand, picked up his brush and put the last brushstroke on the painting, signed it, and led her off to bed.
That was to be her only lesson in painting. Sadly, and unexpectedly, only two days later she suffered a fever of which she never recovered. That work of art became one of his beloved treasures. Folks nearest him said scarcely a day would go by that he wouldn’t think about her. He decided she would live in his art gallery, and before he too passed away he had painted scores of brilliant scenes of his little princess.
In James chapter four the Scripture teaches that our lives are but a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Our lives begin like that canvas in the Master’s hand. He allows us to add color and drama to the picture of our lives. In fact He gives us time on our own to either doodle or create something beautiful. I wonder, . . have you ever asked Him to teach you how to paint? With His tender love and care He puts His hand over ours and teaches us how to live in such a way that our lives might be something beautiful.
Have you ever thought what kind of painting you are going to leave behind? When the Master of Heaven and Earth one day puts the last brushstroke upon the painting of your life I pray that you too will be found in His lap enjoying His presence and that He would treasure the painting of your life in His gallery. Amen.