Wednesday, February 11, 2009
We are always amazed and inspired when we experience great talent. Whether it is Michael Jordan with his "air walk", Denzel Washington the actor, or Celine Dion singing her heart out.
Yesterday I was introduced to Akiane, artist, poet, child prodigy. She found God when she was 4. The painting above was done when she was 8 years old. You could buy an awesome print, 36" by 48" for $3100. She is now an experienced professional at the ripe age of 13. Here is her web site: http://www.akiane.com//home.htm
I will let her tell you the story of this painting.
Why did you paint the portrait of Jesus?
It was God's timing; I had been looking for a Jesus model for two years, and I could not find the right face. Then one day I asked my family to pray with me all day. We petitioned God to send the model right through our front door. The next day a tall carpenter came in. He was so humble, and I was surprised that he agreed to model for me. But a week later he called back to say that he was unworthy to represent his master. We all prayed together again, and a few days later he called back to tell us that God wanted him to do it, but he had to cut his hair and beard in three days. So we took a few pictures and I studied his face for a long time. After dozens of sketches, I started painting. It took me 40 hours to finish the first Jesus painting –The Prince of Peace-- and I still remember I lost four teeth in that time!
Today's reading is all about talent. In Exodus 36 to 38 only 2 people are mentioned by name. Bezalel and Oholiab. They are the Akianes of their day. God's people are building a beautiful tent to be the focal point of their worship of God. The most skilled artisans are sought out and entrusted. The resulting creation is spectacular. Gold, burnished wood, embroidered tapistries.
So, I bet you have not named your children Bezalel - or Oholiab. But they are famous. In the Bible record for all time. Because of their talent. Used for the glory of God.
Now we bring it down to a personal level. Me, for instance. I feel very low on talent. I like music, but am not that good. Thought I was a business man, but now I wonder if that was ever true. I NEVER was good at sports. So - a man with very little talent. I would not have been named in the story of the building of the Tabernacle.
Yet - whatever talent I DO have, I offer to God. He gave it. We are designed to derive pleasure when we use our talents. And ultimately, when they are employed for Him, our talents, even if small, give glory to God.