10 We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus for the good works which God has already designated to make up our way of life. Ephesians 2:10 (NJB)
In describing the spirit of the association to which I have devoted my life, Opus Dei, I have said that it hinges upon ordinary work, professional work carried out in the midst of the world. God’s calling gives us a mission: it invites us to share in the unique task of the Church, to bear witness to Christ before our fellow men and so draw all things toward God. Our calling discloses to us the meaning of our existence. It means being convinced, through faith, of the reason for our life on earth. Our life, the present, past, and future, acquires a new dimension, a depth we did not perceive before. All happenings and events now fall within their true perspective: we understand where God is leading us, and we feel ourselves borne along by this task entrusted to us. God draws us from the shadows of our ignorance, our groping through history, and, no matter what our occupation in the world, he calls us with a strong voice, as he once called Peter and Andrew: “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”11 He who lives by faith may meet with difficulty and struggle, suffering and even bitterness, but never depression or anguish, because he knows that his life is worthwhile, he knows why he has been born. “I am the light of the world,” Christ exclaimed. “He who follows me does not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.” (1)
It is challenging to me to think of myself as a work of art, never mind God’s work of art.
And it is hard to see what I am doing as ‘good works”, in fact, I sometimes wonder if I am the opposite to King Midas, everything he touched turned to gold and everything I touch collapses, or breaks, or needs to have toilet paper applied.
I understand all too well St Josemaria’s description of groping through history, dwelling in the shadows of ignorance. Even as He draws me, there is a reluctance to enter the brilliance of His glory, the glory He would share with all of His people.
But I have to realize that He is more reliable than I am, that His will is being accomplished, and should I humbly focus on my journey with Him, the very places we go together, the people we talk to, are part of His making my life a work of art. Walking with Him means having the challenge and pain of loving people – including those who consider themselves unlovable I know their pain, as does about every person I have met in life.
That’s why, as we are transformed, faith also accepts that what we can perceive is not all there is to the story. That God is doing something very special in our lives, giving us a meaning we can’t see, because the artwork isn’t finished yet.
Knowing that means that I can accept that the potter knows what He is doing – that His vision for my life, my vocation can be vastly different from His. But he is the designer, the architect, the Creator, and I am but His creation.
A creation so beautiful in His eyes, that He would share HIs glory with me, and will all who are His people. That is what I have to remember as I skirt in and out of the shadows, as I wonder what He has in mind, and what He is doing. I even come to realize the reason I am allowed to hang out in these shadows, is to reflect His glory into the dark places, where other masterpieces lurk, afraid to come into the light, afraid to be seen, unaware that they are meant to be His people and He, their God.
In baptism – He cleansed me of all my sin and the unrighteousness of the world, and the struggle to see my life from His perspective is a challenge. Even so, the work is His, the promise to see it through is His. I’ve learned to trust Him, will learn it some more.
it is an interesting life… challenging.. and yet with Him? Incredible. For He heals the broken, and uses them to bring healing to others!
(1) Escriva, Josemaria. Christ is Passing By (Kindle Locations 1411-1423). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.