Ignore the flaws – see the beauty.

I spent most of this past week in Paris, Texas with about thirty really good painters.

Our instructor for the week was a well-known and very talented artist, Robert Warren, and so it was a rewarding and enriching class. I enjoyed spending several days in the company of these talented painters, and having the opportunity to talk about art and painting with fellow instructors and professional artists.

One night I was having dinner with three friends from the class and at some point, we started discussing how different paintings looked depending on how close you are to them.

Up close, as you are working on the painting, you can see the brushstrokes, the little things that you could have or should have done differently, and the occasional smudge from accidental brush strokes. In fact, when you are that close, it’s easy to see all the flaws, maybe even thinking the painting is a failure and destined for the trash bin.

But when you stand up and walk away, getting some distance and perspective — the minor flaws that so consumed your attention a moment ago—disappear and all you see is the beauty of the finished painting.

Thursday evening, after the painting was done, the paints and brushes put away, and goodbyes said it was time to go home. On the way home, between looking for a radio station that worked and dodging rain showers, I had a couple of hours to think and reflect on the events of the past few days.

About the time I was pulling into the garage, it occurred to me that people and paintings are a lot alike. Neither paintings nor people are perfect and each of us has flaws. So, take a step back, ignore the flaws, and enjoy the beauty that God sees in each of us.

Peace and blessings–Pastor John

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