The Author and Finisher: from blank to beautiful
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
Facing the computer, blank screen in front of me, silently, I will the words to come forth. Nothing happens until my fingers hit the keyboard. Even then, with that first tap, tap, on the keys, I have little idea of where these words are going. I only know that I want to create something beautiful. I must start somewhere. God help me, I pray.
The words sound clumsy. They aren’t beautiful. Keep going, He says. I look around at other pages, reading other people’s words. They’re beautiful. I want to write like them. I delete my words, ashamed.
Facing the cross, crucified Jesus in front of me, silently, I will the words to come forth. I’m sorry, I say. Please forgive me. Even then, with that first heartfelt prayer, I have little idea where this life is going. I only know that he’s beautiful and I love him. He’s on that cross because of me, because he loves me. I must start somewhere. God help me, I pray.
I’m a mess. I keep doing things to hurt the One I love. Keep going, He says. I look around at other people’s lives. I think they’re beautiful. I want to be like them. I take my eyes off Jesus, ashamed.
I start again. Tap, tap, tap on the keyboard, the words coming faster now. God help me, I pray. I’m scared but I keep going. I don’t know if I have anything to say that people will want to read. I want them to think my words are beautiful. He helps me anyway. My words are rough, but I put them out there for others to read. And then I want to take them back. I want to hide. But they’re out there now, and I can’t take them back. My words are still not beautiful, but I ask God to use them anyway.
I’m still a mess, but I turn my eyes back to Jesus. He’s no longer on the cross. Now he lives and I have hope. I still sin against the One I love, but God sees me as beautiful, because of what Jesus did for me. I keep going. I want others to see the beauty of God in my life. I feel their eyes on me as I stumble. I want to hide. But I pray that God will use me anyway.
I continue to face the computer. Tap, tap, words fill up the screen. God help me, I pray, because I want my words to point to Him, who’s beautiful in every way. Keep going, he says.
I continue to face the cross. My beautiful Jesus reminds me that I don’t need to hide. When I stumble, I just remember that he already took care of it. I want others to see my Savior. He tells me to keep going, and I continue to ask for his help. I see a little more clearly where my life is going now. One day, my rough draft will be done, and it will be beautiful, because the author and finisher of my faith will use it for his glory.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
This essay was something I wrote for the 2015 Faith and Culture conference.