*These “As I See It” blogs are probably something I’ll start doing every once in a while. Sometimes I get an image of a verse I really like, so I try to draw what the verse leads me to see. These are scanned straight from my journal. Let me know what you think.
Some of you (probably about 6 people) might notice I changed the name of my blog from “The Ascent” to “A Pitiful Masterpiece.” I know you’re really confused now, so I’m gonna explain (in three parts, nonetheless!) why I went and changed everything around on you.
Part 1: The Ascent
The Ascent was the original name of this blog. I named it that because of 1 Corinthians 1:13, which tells us to make love our highest goal. The name “The Ascent” came up because I will always be on the climb to reach the point where I can sufficiently love the people around me, including the ones I tend not to like much.
As everyone knows, it’s basically impossible to continually love everyone you come into contact with, unless you’re name is Jesus, which my name isn’t. That means I’ll be continually on “The Ascent” to reach a point where I can love people as Jesus did, and I’ll probably never get there.
Don’t worry though. Just because I changed the name of this blog doesn’t mean I’m done trying to love people in spite of my shortcomings. I’ll always be trying to overcome my shortcomings in order to love people better. (You might have shortcomings too, but if I find myself not loving you it’s because of my shortcomings. Not yours.)
Part 2: Recognizing who I am
I decided about a week ago that I wanted to change this blog up a little bit. Mainly because the html was my name, and had nothing to do with the blog title.
So I started researching.
This research mostly consisted of reading my bible, and looking at my favorite verses in order to come up with a new name describing what I am and what God sees me as. I went through a lot of verses. I also looked at my old blog background – the Banksy painting of the guy throwing flowers – and tried thinking of a name that could go with that. I almost named my blog “The Flowery Revolution,” but thought people would get confused when they read it and realized it has nothing to do with gardening. So I went back to the bible.
After searching for a clever word play on many, many verses, I came to probably my favorite verse ever. Ephesians 2:8-10. It says this:
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece . He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” -Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT)
To me, this verse pretty much defines Christianity and what it means. It was the verse. Now I just had to think of how it described me.
Part 3: Describing me (and everyone else)
I’ll start this off with my favorite parts of these verses. Favorite part number 1:
“And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done . . .”
We can’t take credit for our salvation. It isn’t a reward for acting nice or not using swear words. It has nothing to do with us, and we can do nothing to deserve it. It’s kind of like a Christmas present. We don’t do anything to deserve a Christmas present, yet we always receive one (I hope). We’re given these presents because someone likes who we are enough to buy or make something for us. We may make someone angry once in a while, but chances are we’ll still get at least one Christmas present regardless of the things we’ve done.
On to favorite part number 2:
“none of us can boast about it.”
I can’t boast about the gift I’ve been given, because I didn’t do anything to deserve it. I am nothing but a person that fails at a lot of things, succeeds at a few, and will eventually die. I am, largely, pitiful.
(Note: Just because I called myself pitiful doesn’t mean I’m depressed or anything. I’m talking large, Isaiah 64:6 scale here. I’m not going to start wearing man-scara and writing super angsty songs about my life. Don’t worry, I smile a lot.)
The good news is God doesn’t see me as pitiful. He has that covered. He sent the guy I was talking about earlier – who loved everyone – named Jesus. Because of Him, if I recognize my need for Him to cover for my failures, He’ll give me a gift way cooler than anything even Steve Jobs can come up with. And then he’ll see me as His masterpiece. Through His grace I, and everyone else, can go from pitiful to masterpiece. Then He can send us off to “do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
So that’s pretty much it. As nothing but a man who fails more often than he succeeds, I am seen as a masterpiece. Nothing I have done led to being recognized as a masterpiece, I’ve just recognized the One who recognizes me as such. I alone will always fall short. I alone will always be pitiful. Yet I am not seen as such.
We are all pitiful masterpieces.