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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Line Drawing

Winner of The Best Canadian Christian Author Award, Marcia Lee Laycock is a pastor's wife, mother to three adult daughters and caregiver to two golden retreivers and a six-toed cat. She lives in Central Alberta, Canada

Our art instructor pushed a desk to the middle of the room and sat on it. “I’m your model today,” he said, and explained a technique called line drawing.
The idea was to look only at the figure being drawn, never at the paper. Without lifting the pencil, we were to draw the subject with a single continuous line. My first attempt was pitiful, but the instructor encouraged us to keep trying. Sheets of paper fell to the floor all over the studio as the students attempted to copy what was before them.
As I worked, I began to realize how staring at an object for that long, with that much concentration, helps you see things you would not have otherwise noticed. Trying to make that continuous line look like the man on the desk was a challenge, but the more I tried, the more I realized it wasn’t impossible.
Later that evening, while watching T.V. with my father, he fell asleep in his chair. I quietly pulled out paper and pencil and did a line drawing of him. It was, in a way, a moment of enlightenment. The more I tried to copy him, the more I saw things I had never noticed before – how long his fingers were, how crooked the leg broken when he was a teenager. As I concentrated on him, I began to see the real man, not just an impression of him. I began to realize too, the benefit of not looking at what my hand was drawing. The point was not to achieve perfection, but to capture the essence of the subject.
Concentrating on Jesus will have the same result. When we focus entirely on Him, as He really is, rather than on what we are doing, we will find the real Christ, the very essence of God. In 2 Corinthians 4:6, the apostle Paul says – “For God ... made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” As we study him, and copy him, we will discover more and more of Him.
Like the first efforts of my fellow art students, our attempts will be flawed, but if we keep at it we will reach that point of enlightenment. We will begin to see what had remained veiled, to understand what had been hidden. And we will become that copy, flawed, yet somehow revealing the essence of the One who created us.
God does not expect perfection. He knows we cannot achieve it on our own. But He has given us a way to copy Him that will give us what we need, day by day, moment by moment. Pick up a Bible and open it to any page. His image is there, waiting to be studied, waiting to be understood. Don’t concentrate on what you can or can’t do. Just focus on Jesus.


  1. Thank you for this. It was a perfect start to my morning and even went well with my pastor's morning sermon!

  2. I loved your last line,"Just focus on Jesus". It reminds me of that old hymn about turning your eyes upon Jesus. How human and how futile it is to focus on what we cannot do; it obscures the blessings that the Lord has laid out before us(and that quite generously).

    Cup o'joy
    and a fresh taste of the bread of heaven....



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