“This is a painting of Picasso's. Here are some of the techniques; here are some of the things that made him stand out from other artists of the time. Blah, blah, blah. Now you try to copy him. Here are some supplies and here is what you should do. We don't expect your drawing to be just like his; we just want you to try painting.”
Some of the kids dink around all period and end up with chicken scratches on their paper. Others try but don't come anywhere close to what the project is supposed to be. At least they made an effort and we tell them “Good job!” Some kids put a lot of effort into the project and end up making some pretty great art. At the end of class, many kids throw the project in the trash on their way out the door, while others proudly take it home to show Mom and Dad. They are all presented with the same material. The only difference is the effort that they put into the project.
Christianity is just like Art Lit. God sent us Jesus as an example. He told us “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17) God told us why He Jesus is set apart from other men: He was born of the Virgin Mary, He is the son of God, and He is perfect in His humanity. Then God asks us to just try to be like Jesus and gave us the techniques to use: the Ten Commandments and the Gospels. Jesus himself gave us the supplies we need. He founded the church before He left so we would have a community to support us, and He left the Holy Spirit here to guide us.
“Ha!” you say. “I don't even come close to perfection.” I have good news! God does not require perfection! The Great Creator already made the masterpiece and just wants us to try to copy it. We are to love one another as Jesus loved us. Jesus was the masterpiece. He is LOVE incarnate. We are just the apprentices. He is the original and we are mere prints. All God wants from us is for us to try to copy the master.
Some people are going to dink around and not have anything to show at the end of their lives. For the rest of us, though - Have we tried? Have we done more than doodle? Have we put effort into something worthy of show, and will we be able to go home and say “See, Mom and Dad? Look what I did! I know it doesn't look exactly like it was supposed to, but see here? This shape was just right and this color was exactly the same as the original.”
From the loving Father-Mother, we will hear: “I'm proud of you for trying. Well done, my good and faithful child.”
~ Kate Jones