The cry derailed my train of thought and interrupted my task of emptying the dishwasher. I looked up and watched as my two daughters, who were painting with watercolors at the kitchen table, dramatically expressed their feelings. My 5-year-old daughter had tears streaming down her face and her 3-year-old sister was crying as well and sat crossing her little arms in stubborn indignation.
I sighed and rested my hands on the countertop where the bowls and plates sat waiting to be put back into the cupboard so that they could rest in peace. I was wishing for peace as well. Playing referee to these two can be draining.
When the crying didn’t stop I sent the youngest, who seemed to be the cause of the problem, up to her room and I followed a few minutes later to have “a talk.”
“What’s the deal, Kenzie?” I asked her as she wiped her tears while sitting on her bed. “Why are you so upset and frustrated with your sister?”
She drew her breath in quickly several times while trying to speak. Finally she said, “But Mama! Karly said she was painting a boat but I don’t think it looks like a boat at all. I think she’s painting a rocket ship!”
I had to do the old “parent trick” of looking sideways and pretending I suddenly had to scratch my cheek so that I could cover the smile that spread across my face. What could I say, it did look an awfully lot like a rocket.
But Karly had said that she painted a boat and who was I to disagree?
So I gently explained to little sis that even though she was right in thinking that it did look like a rocket, it also looked like a boat too. And more importantly, Karly painted it. It was Karly’s masterpiece, and if she said it was a boat then we need to encourage her for painting a boat.
It was Karly’s workmanship, created to be a boat no matter what the rest of us thought it should be.
The paints have long been cleaned up and the dishes have been through the wash cycle and back into the cupboard countless times since that moment. But I’ve continued to chuckle to myself about Kenzie’s honest assessment of Karly’s painting.
And actually, that moment has made me think about something more.
I’ve thought about the fact that I am a masterpiece too. I was created and I am supposed to be something specific. Not a boat or a rocket ship… but me. I am God’s masterpiece, and no matter what anyone else thinks I should look like or should be, I am His creation.
Ephesians 2:10 says,
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
The word “handiwork” in this verse is the original Greek word “poiema” which, according to Strong’s Concordance means, “that which has been made; a work: of the works of God as creator.”
I’m God’s masterpiece. I am called to be who He created me to be.
Sometimes I worry about being what others think I should be. Am I still valuable if I’m “just me?”
I have friends who juggle both careers and motherhood and they don’t drop the ball in either role. I don’t work outside the home. Does that make me less valuable than they?
I know children who are amazing and committed athletes and musicians. My kids have never had a single piano lesson. I’m not the mother of a prodigy. Am I less significant than those who are?
I have a college degree, but much like my computer, which falls asleep when it’s not touched for awhile, my skills and practical application of my schooling feel like they’re dormant and hiding behind a blank screen. Does this mean I’m unsuccessful?
So once again I go back to Ephesians 2:10. I was,
“created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance.”
God has prepared works for me in advance so that all I have to do is be me and be obedient to Him. If I’m made in Christ Jesus then I certainly have been equipped to accomplish what He calls me to do because Jesus is full of power and never-ending grace.
I don’t have to force myself to be a rocket ship if God created me to be a boat.
I can just be me because that is who God made me to be. I am significant and beautiful in His eyes. He will go with me and help me to accomplish what He has prepared for me to do. And it’s extra beautiful because it’s all for His glory.
That watercolor boat was Karly’s workmanship, created to be a boat. I am God’s workmanship, created to be me.
No matter what others see, my Creator knows just who I am.
And I am His masterpiece.