Life as a canvas

A bit frantic and scattered by nature, I am always on the look out for organizing principles.  However, as a poster child for the post-modern milieu, I have at times had an aversion to the codifying of faith and life into a neatly integrated, linear set of theological propositions designed to classify my place in the big picture of Christian dogma.  Statements of faith, as needful and helpful as they are merely portray “details of the tapestry…those main threads that bind the tapestry together and create a pattern…the basic threads of the faith…the common threads…that unite all Christians” (Thomas Merton).

Taken as a whole and seen from God’s perspective, the tapestry that is our life is a fabric portrayal of one’s deepest essence.  Threads of differing colors and weights for different purposes are woven at ninety degree angles to one another, providing multiple cross-roads at each meeting place.  They lack meaning in themselves and without the creator’s perspective, these threads can quickly lose hope, finding themselves at crossed purposes; conflictually related.  At micro level each thread travels a continuous forward road sometimes above its perpendicular counterparts, perhaps even with an accompanying sense of pride, accomplishment and clear vision.  At other times, life is submerged, under the surface, as the creator allows other colors to predominate.

Life is a canvas.  Broad brush strokes upon newly prepared canvas provide the ethos and essential feel of the finished work.  The predetermined size of the work allows the canvas to be stretched and prepped for that which is to emerge.  Location, location, location – as in real estate, so in art. The placement of the canvas ensures adequate light to the artist for the ensuing endeavor.  The artist works quickly at first seeking to get on canvas the basic structure of the vision which prompted the painting in the first place.  As the vision unfolds, smaller, more painfully intricate strokes occur leaving vast portions of canvas untouched for long periods.  No brush stroke is less important than the other.  Each one a promise fulfilled toward the unfolding masterpiece…

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