You Are A Finger Painting
I just turned 26.
By 26, my oldest sister was married with one kid and one on the way.
By 26, my other sister was married and planning a trip to Europe.
Sometimes, more often than I'm proud of, this makes me feel like a failure. It doesn't matter that I've started to collect publications, that unlike a lot of my peers I feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, that I feel professionally fulfilled, that I regularly sing at open mic night at the local bar, that I have flourishing friendships, that I'm learning guitar. All of those things fade to the background when I see pictures of my sisters and their husbands, when I see their lives fulfilled by the one thing my soul desperately craves.
For months, my sister, Beth has been telling me to "lean in" to these feelings, that when I feel lonely or rejected or unworthy, I should take a minute and rest in it. I listen, and I nod, and I agree. But I don't know what that means. How do you feel sad or anxious or lonely and lean toward that pain instead of walking (running) away?
Yet, this week, I caught a glimpse of what she's been saying. I was lying in bed trying to block out the afternoon light coming through my blinds so I could take a nap between jobs.
I prayed, "God, how do you see me?"
"You're a finger painting," He said.
Huh? A finger painting? My mind flashed with a mess of bright colors splashed on a canvas. I complain a lot about wanting to hear the voice of God, and when I hear it, He tells me I'm a finger painting?
Finger paintings are masterpieces to the ones who create them. Kids throw their hearts onto pieces of paper and look at you with such pride when the piece is done. To them, it is the most beautiful thing in the world. To God, I'm that masterpiece.
Even if they want to, kids can't replicate a finger painting. The way the colors blend together from being swiped across the page, the shapes, the light and dark spots, all of it is a one-time-only thing. God only made one of me.
Not everyone appreciates a finger painting. When my nieces and nephews paint me something, even if it's just smeared colors on a piece of paper, it's beautiful. If it's some kid I've never met, it's just a bunch of paint. The value of a finger painting doesn't come from whether or not I see it's worth. It's value comes from knowing its creator. My value isn't determined by whether others can see it or not. It's determined by my relationship to my Creator. And others who know my Creator see the value in me, too.
It's a not a perfect metaphor, but it shines some light on who God says we are.
He sees you as a unique masterpiece, unable to be replicated. He sees your value because He is your Creator, and He made you in His image, to be like Him.