"Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it." --Michelangelo
Mark Nepo quotes Father Thomas Keating, "Discernment is a process of letting go of what we are not." Nepo goes on to illustrate this using Michelangelo's often used quote. He points out that because it is so easy to over-identify with our emotions and roles that we can think we are what we feel or what we do. Have you not come away from an emotional outburst thinking that you're an angry person, or an overly sensitive person, or whatever emotion it was you were expressing.....when in truth, that is not WHO you are, but WHAT you are in that moment.
Nepo says, "The many ways we suffer, both inwardly and outwardly, are the chisels of God freeing the thing of beauty that we have carried within since birth." This is God revealing who we really are. Our emotions are merely telling us that something is "going on" inside us. It may feel good, or it may feel bad. Even our actions are telling us what's going on inside because we either act from a place of fear or a place of love.
Until I saw this video I had no idea just how large the sculpture stands.....
I was more affected by the "unfinished" sculptures in the hall leading to David. I guess because I could identify too easily with them.....unfinished, struggling to get out of the block of stone. I am like these unfinished works of art when I try to stay the hand of God chiseling away all that is not really me. He is trying to reveal my true beauty, but I often do not cooperate. The good news is that he does not give up on me as Michelangelo seems to have done.....unless, in God's estimation, as it was in Michelangelo's, and as Rick Steves wondered, that is all that could be revealed in that particular piece of stone.
Father, I know You are not finished with me. I can feel there is more in me to be revealed, and I thank you for your grace-filled Hand on my life.
Link to scripture: Philippians l:6