Sketching angels that are bigger than life
Ah, the clean slate of a new year. Fresh off the Christmas holiday, we’re feeling good about ourselves. Time to activate on the new year’s resolutions. Weight loss? Exercise? Quitting that bad habit? Nah, let’s not bother with the small stuff. Let’s go big. “Seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) That ought to take care of it. If want the Kingdom life complete with all the amenities, all I have to do is follow Jesus.
Such a bold resolution, but my track record thus far is not so good. I mean, while I’m busy looking into the distance for what Jesus would do, I’m fumbling the things at hand. I see his patience with children, his compassion for the sick, his attention to those in need, but it’s not even noon and I’ve already raised my voice, shelved my empathy and affixed my headphones so I can tune out all the whining. It looks so easy when Jesus does it, and so messy when I get hold of it.
This Christmas I discovered a wonderful tool that planted an idea and gives me the hope of a strategy. Of course there were angels involved. These angels began in 1997 when my husband Scot, the amateur woodworker, designed some “lawn ornaments” as Christmas decorations. He, not being one to settle for small projects, designed and constructed three 4-foot tall wooden angels. Complete with wings, hymnals and a working electric candle, these white painted cherubs, must be pieced together and staked up each year as they take their place on our little grassy knoll.
This year, I found out their secret. They weren’t drawn free hand as I had imagined but were traced via pantograph from a design ordered from a wood shop catalog. Aha! Using this magical tool, one only need trace over the original design and the device reproduces the image perfectly in a much larger size. You simply focus on what’s at hand and let the pencil re-trace the image, all courtesy of
four scaled bars with a couple hinges in the middle and some complicated proportioning that I will never understand. Voila, angels.
I never knew such a tool existed! It’s the perfect solution to my vision problem. Now, my new year’s resolutions are looking a bit more manageable. Focus on what’s at hand and the pencil will trace the image in the distance. Pastor Ashley has told us what’s at hand:
- Find time for stillness
- Make faith a priority
- Input what you want to output
My new years’ resolution is to get my fingers around these. I’m sure my coordination will get better with practice. But there will be a lot less fumbling if I don’t keep looking away. I just have to trust the pattern I’ve been sent and the hand that is guiding the pencil on the other end. Who knows, we may be sketching angels.