A block of precious marble
but still cut from the earth like any other rock
to be carved into the likeness of the Son
Like Michelangelo carving David: “It is easy. You just chip away the stone that doesn’t look like David.”
Just chip away the stone that doesn’t look like Christ
Many shards–large and small–fall away
But the sculptor hits a vein in the marble
until the stone releases that weak, discolored thread it grasps so frantically
Why, Lord, did you choose THIS block of marble
knowing that an ugly, feeble vein was hidden inside?
He chose it for the veins
not despite them
not ignorant of them
Those veins make this image of the Son different from all His others
Those veins are the stone’s beauty
merged into Christ
“Sometimes I consider myself there, as a stone before a carver, whereof he is to make a statue: presenting myself thus before GOD, I desire Him to make His perfect image in my soul, and render me entirely like Himself.” –Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. –Romans 8:29
On occasion, the rebel in me rises up and questions the idea of being ‘conformed to’ an image alongside thousands of others. I don’t want to look like/act like/think like everybody else. Conformity is the antithesis of creativity. As I was pondering this Brother Lawrence quote alongside everything God has revealed to me about beauty recently, this image of the veins in the marble arose. The veins, though they have to be…tamed…differentiate one statue from another without actually changing the form. Such is the uniqueness we have in Christ even as we are conformed to His image.
Do you have an image that helps you understand our identity in Christ? Please share it in the comments!