This is a picture of a painting by Domenico Feti, titled "Ecce Homo" (Behold the Man). I am not an art enthusiast by any stretch of the imagination. I can appreciate the talent, time and craftsmanship that go into creating a beautiful work of art, but I am not trained or wired in such a way to pick up on the subtle nuances that differentiate good art from great art. I just know what I like. I know what moves me.
In the early 1700's a man by the name of Nicholas Zinzendorf visited an art museum in Dusseldorf, Germany and first laid eyes on Domenico Feti's painting of Jesus Christ. Underneath the painting were the words, "All this I did for thee, what hast thou done for Me?" The depiction of the face of Christ in this painting stayed with Zinzendorf, and Christ's love and sacrifice became the compelling force of his life. He went on to pastor a single church that sent out more missionaries than the whole Protestant church had done in the previous 200 years! His church had three members on the mission field for every one sitting in the congregation on a Sunday morning. Zinzendorf also expressed his appreciation and devotion to Christ through a life of prayer, spending countless hours in prayer and seeking to lead others to commit to prayer as well. His example led his church to begin a prayer movement called "hourly intercession" where they prayed in shifts, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the work of Christ around the world. This went on uninterrupted for over 100 years!
When I read about this story (in Henry Blackaby's, Called and Accountable), what struck me far more than the exciting things that happened in Nicholas Zinzendorf's church, was the faithfulness of Domenico Feti to create a work of art and put it out there for the world to react to. If Feti hadn't pursued his calling as a gifted artist, Zinzendorf's heart would not have been captured that day at the museum. Today, I am thankful for artists of every variety - painters, writers, sculptors, inventors, movie-makers, actors, musicians, illustrators, glass blowers, dancers, singers, song writers, designers, architects, and all the rest. Your work does not have to be perfect! If you will put it in His hands and let Him decide how to use it, you never know what impact it may have on the world. Be true to your calling, whatever it may be and do all things with excellence, but don't let your own insecurities or perfectionism keep you from putting on display that which God has given you to give to the world.
Matthew 25:19-21, "After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.' His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share in your master's happiness!'"
Carla Ritz. Proof positive that God uses cracked pots!