I asked a master carver how he created a life-like bear from a lifeless piece of wood. He smiled and said, “I simply cut away everything that isn’t a bear.” God reminded me of that conversation as He chipped away this week. The process was painful, but the peace that came was well worth it.
God’s Word cut deeply, leaving me exposed, vulnerable, and ready to soak in the love He poured over me. I wonder what a carver would do if the wood questioned and fretted while he worked. I think he might just toss it into the fire. I can just imagine a piece of walnut saying, “Are you sure you know what you’re doing? You’re not getting rid of that, are you??” I squirmed, cried, questioned, and yelled at God the whole time He carved.
If God were the Smiter I continue to imagine Him to be, I would have ended up in a pitiful pile of dust on the floor. Like a master carver, God sees what I cannot. He sees love when I see failure. He sees love when I see imperfection. He sees me, and He will let me see me if I allow Him to get rid of all that isn’t what He wants for me. At the peak of my struggle yesterday, I caught a glimpse of myself in His Son’s precious love. I relaxed into the image and let His love wash over me.
I have amazing sisters and friends who have always seen the image I saw yesterday. I have become very adept at looking away or making jokes or excuses when those I love try to get me to see myself as they do, but I opened my eyes and my heart to God yesterday. I saw what He, and they, have always seen. I smiled, and God smiled with me.