It was 1985 when I walked into my 7th grade Bible class. I sat down at my desk to find seven words written in pencil in the top left corner. Those seven, cruel words were written about me and deeply and permanently seared themselves into my mind and heart. I immediately got out my eraser and wiped them from my desk, but I have never been able to erase them from my memory. Being an insecure, lonely, friend-starved, and hurting junior higher, those carelessly written words solidified what I felt about myself and had a profound impact on my ability to “get” the concept of the adoring love of Jesus, even into adulthood.
Not until five years ago did my belief begin to change. It was year two of Art Prize (a local art festival that I have fallen in love with and that draws worldwide visitors to the Grand Rapids area for several weeks each September and October). That Friday evening was one of those nearly unheard of times when my house was completely silent. My kids were all in bed, my husband was working and I had some time to just be.
Instead of turning on tunes or the TV, I decided to check out the Art Prize website and plan my adventure for the following weeks. As I was silent and perusing, I heard from my right side and slightly behind me, the words “You are my Art Prize”. WHAT?!?!? Did I just hear what I think I heard??? I responded by saying out loud, “God, was that YOU?” I was in complete and utter awe as I sat there- stunned.
We are Saturday nighters at Ada Bible and so the following evening we headed to church for part three of the series “People of the Way”. The teaching was about who we are in Christ. Jeff closed the message by putting a picture of a previous Art Prize entry on the screen and said…
“Remember, you are His masterpiece. You are His Art Prize”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?
Needless to say, the floodgates opened and my heart broke. Yes, the Artist had indeed spoken those words to me. The Potter gently reminded this broken vessel that I was His art work, His creation and His masterpiece and that I was not what those seven words had echoed in my heart for all those years.
What I have come to realize was that the Artist spoke when I was quiet and still. He spoke when my heart was at rest. He spoke when (nearly) all other distractions were gone.
He spoke and I heard when we were alone…together.