There is something so unique about artists (and I’m using the term “artist” in its broadest sense). Whether it be a musician, fine artist, a writer, poet, a singer, a carpenter, a designer, an architect, there is always that need to put one’s very own finger print on the work one creates. Leaving behind a touch, a stamp, and perhaps even piece of oneself.
Not much satisfaction is derived from spending and investing time, pouring oneself into something, if at the end of the day there’ll be no evidence of “having been there”.
And so, we make sure we are different enough to be noticed.
An example of this would be listening to Alicia Keys sing a Whitney Houston song. By simply listening, you’d be able to boldly state “That aint my girl Whitney sanging” or “Yo, my girl Alicia sure hit that note. That girl can sang!” Whether or not you’d add an American or Igbo accent to those statements is completely irrelevant (for now anyway), bottom-line is: you’d simply know! You’d know because you know both voices, their singing styles, the passion they put into their performances. They simply vary. I’m not comparing (I’m not a fan of either in particular, just by the way, I simply appreciate talent) or placing one above the other (it’s pretty clear that Alicia’s got nothing on Whitney!) but simply stating the fact that you’d always be able to tell what work originated from what artist, once you’ve known the artist well enough, that is.
Yesterday’s post was somewhat of an experiment. I say “somewhat” because it wasn’t initially meant to be one. But having done the editing, I knew I’d think about this some more..
With the desire to be recognized, appreciated, or at the very least acknowledged, we have a way of frowning upon people changing our “work”. A sense of ownership..
Most often we care more than we let on, more than we are probably even aware of ourselves.
After I did the editing and compared the original version to the final piece that was published, I had to shake my head. Not at the original piece, but at the finger and footprints I had spread all over. Would anyone notice? Would she, the writer, mind?
I wondered whether I should share just the original piece after-all. But I did not. I stepped back and watched. How many would notice? I had flawed with an original but, because no one knew the original, no one could compare.
However, I thought a bit further: the writing style, the choice of words, the phrases and comparisons.. Many of them were “typically me”. Sure someone would notice. No? Well, no! And this led me to think..
With all the time people have spent reading my posts, or time we might have spent together in person, it was alarmingly surprising how my finger wasn’t apparent. Or was I just more aware of it because it was mine!?
Isn’t this how God often works?
Like a magnet placed in the center of a bunch of scattered needles, He creates order. He arranges and organizes His system. He does not necessarily change each individual piece, He simply re-positions it: facing Him!
And so, as The Artist works behind the scenes, His tiny little finger doing the work with the greatest picture in mind, we move and wander, but hardly ever wonder, question, look, pause, think, appreciate.
It really did make me think. My finger was obvious to me because it was mine. And some of you, going back to read the post again, will probably point to paragraphs now, ashamed you didn’t notice this was me.
Isn’t this what often happens with God? We do not recognize His presence all the time. No, we wait for something magnificent, something unusual, something “miraculous” to happen before acknowledging Him; when in truth He was and still is there all the time.
It really made me think, you know. How we can spend quality time with Him, in His Word, in prayer, in devotion; yet fail to recognize Him, His voice, His finger.
To some extent it made me feel sad. Very sad..
I pictured a scenario in which I called my brother “Stinky” and watched him wondered who this was. Huh? How dare he wonder!? Whatever person, or voice, or situation brought that “Stinky” about, I’d expect him to simply and without the shadow of a doubt know “Vicky’s behind this.”
Whenever my dad is irritated and calls me by my name, I say “No, No, No, sir. It’s PRINCESS!” and he starts laughing. Come what may, whenever and wherever by whoever, should he ever hear those exact words, I’d expect him to simply conclude I had to do something with it. Why? Because that is ME. It’s what I do. How I talk. How I act. It screams “Pinkus!” Very much like my cousin would ALWAYS know it was me when hearing or reading or thinking “punkhers”. No one else does that, not the way I do, and not to her. This is me, MY finger. And if you (claim to) know me, you must simply know (this). At least you should.
But do we with God?
You see, I realized that, just like any artist or musician or carpenter or architect or singer, God leaves His very own mark, a stamp, a foot or finger print behind. In whatever He does, wherever and whenever, He makes sure we realize it’s Him. Or at least, He wants us to.
But do we really?
Most of us don’t. And that’s why it is so easy for us to be deceived. There are so many misconceptions about God today, His word, His will, His way. I guess that’s one of the reasons The Body is no longer united. People have lost track of who He is, because they have overlooked the importance of The Original Work, His written word. And so, unaware of the “features” of the original, people have made do with the counterfeit. Not bothering going back, digging deep, finding out for themselves. Sometimes it’s just not worth it, right? And so many go ahead serving an unknown God, really.
Maybe that’s why the Book of Psalms is such an amazing one: Each psalm tells of a story, an emotion, a struggle; in all of which God stands acknowledged.
I guess that’s what made the relationship between God and Abraham, between God and David, and between God and Christ so special. It was so personal. There was a profound understanding of His working in their lives. A sense of assurance and inner peace that came from the fact that He was actually known. They knew him, had His hand upon their lives and were constantly aware of His finger. They saw it by simply believing it was there. While His footprint symbolizes His presence; the hand provision and protection, His fingerprint symbolizes change.
You see, the sad things is that while many of us crave for His presence, provision and protection in our lives, very few of us cry for His finger.
My prayer today is that each of our lives should speak of much more than just devotion; that our lives may speak of lives touched and changed through the awareness of whom we have believed, served, and followed. May our lives be true images of souls saved by His hand and touched by His finger. And finally, may our fingers in turn leave beautiful prints behind in the lives of others.