I’m hesitant to share this photo. In a way. I mean, it’s so easy. We all know the three clicks or so it takes to upload a gallery to Facebook. 2.5 seconds later and boom, you’re done! But there is fear that surrounds it, as well as so much of what I do. Fear of discouragement and disappointment.
It’s the fear that my favorite photo I’ve ever taken would be glanced at and forgotten. That no one would like it or even look at it.
What‘s so wrong with that? Seemingly, nothing. I want people to like my work.
Except, everything is wrong with that. My fists clenching for glory is what’s wrong with that.
The idea that in my fear of sharing something so simple as a photo, I’ve put it on this pedestal so high up. So God-like. I’ve made this art so God-like in my mind. I want the glory from it, I want someone to gasp and say “wow”, I want someone to be amazed, by me. And how often do I do this? Day after day after day, hands grasping, clenching for glory and attention and affection. Oh man, when will I ever get it?
This is not my creation and this is not what I need. The glory of the world is not what I need. The glory of my sweet Jesus already falls on me.
This is so not me: I didn’t create the water, I didn’t lift the sun into the sky, I didn’t orchestrate waves crashing. In essence, I didn’t create the painting of creation that I captured with the simple click of a camera. The God that created me, as well as the waves that crash around me, He did this, He made this. This great God also exposes my sin and makes light from them by the wounds my sweet Jesus bore. Yet I grasp for self glory–some sort of glory, in even saying these very words.
I stood by the ocean and watched as the waves crashed, so big and so powerful. And they screamed of glory. They scream to be seen. To consume. Like our God. No, no. Maybe this is Him shouting His glory with every crash of the waves, every color of the sunrise, the movement of the sand into ribbons of light and dark– a God painting that shouts “glory”.
“Open your eyes and behold My glory. It’s so much greater than the things you want.”
Our God uses His creation to claim our praise and adoration, while at the same time He gently takes our hurt, pain, pride, sin. He takes my hands that are grasping for the dirt– self glory, and pours grace, sweet clean grace into my palms.
The glory of our God is the publicity of his infinite worth and perfection, manifested in all of creation, even broken beings like me. This glory is the very essence of everything I am not. Infinitely unworthy and imperfect. Deserving of nothing, yet grace abounds. Here I am so small and weak, yet graced with the marvelous gift of being His poem. Oh, sweet Jesus, He is so generous and kind. He knows my soul needs redemption before my broken, selfish thoughts even enter my mind.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1
His glory is so much more than I than my head could dream, yet He lets it rise on me. I grasp for the glory of the world, yet He still chooses me as a puzzle piece to tell of His glory. The earth is filled with His glory.
So here’s to letting go of the self glory of the world and holding fast to the promises of my sweet Jesus. Clinging to the grace of my glorious Jesus. Holding fast to knowing His glory is something I can’t take away from or add to. Something so radiant with infinite holiness and worth, perfection unending. Something that can’t be messed up by my messy hands and mixed motives.
Here’s to pleading with my Father in heaven that I might be mystified by His glory that is displayed through the lives and art of the people that surround me.
I’m thankful that I get to make art from the scenes in front of me. I will share with open hands, knowing that each scene is a painting of my Father in heaven. That grace for my selfish, glory-grasping hands is given from the wounds of my sweet Jesus. That glory is His and always will be. That He gives light, allows us to shine, sprinkles us with a glory that we can’t claim. Let His paintings of redemption flood my mind.
To You be the glory, sweet Jesus.