So I am an artist, and my mind don’t work the way I want it to. Those are Front Bottom lyrics. But they’re true.
As an artist, you have to come into a project expecting to find truth in something you once thought was false. For example, I draw people a lot. Mostly men with guitars who sing. As I’ve matured more in my drawing, I’ve had to learn to break down my preconceived notions of what a face should look like. It’s so difficult. I want people’s faces to be symmetrical, and I want them to be perfectly in line with the rest of their face. But that’s not the case. If I close my eyes and imagine a nose, I find that it looks nothing how it actually looks on Scott Avett’s face. And that’s the hardest part of drawing, I think. You have to be willing to let go of what you think is true in order to grasp the reality of each line on someone’s face, each feature in relation to the others when put in a specific angle. Sometimes it just doesn’t look right. I never imagined an eye to look the way it looks in a picture, until I stare at the picture for forty hours and copy it, line for line, shade for shade, onto a piece of paper. When its in the process of coming together, it looks wrong and poorly executed. It’s only after the piece is finished that I can appreciate the lines for what they are, and believe that they have meshed together to accurately depict the true image of the model.
Eh. It’s a work in progress.
And that’s how it is with Jesus.
I have this crazy desire to know Him more intimately every day. I want to know every line of His face, stare at His glory and goodness until I have it memorized and can close my eyes and feel the truth of His character. But I mess it up, because I rush in with preconceived notions of who Jesus is. What I fail to realize is that Jesus Himself is the Truth (John 14:6) and that all other notions must be in line with who I find Him to be. So the more I grow in my relationship with Him, the more I realize that He isn’t who I once thought He was. He’s much, much more forgiving and loving and gracious. And He loves even the deepest part of me. And there’s nowhere He won’t stoop down to pull me out of.
The Jesus I thought I knew is cold and very unhappy when I sin and wants nothing to do with me when I can’t get my act together.
The real Jesus loves even the people I can’t stand because they ruin my day with their negativity and perversion. This Jesus wants to bring life. This Jesus is love, not self-righteousness. This Jesus loves me unconditionally, despite my previous belief that I had to please Him in order to earn His favor.
So sometimes, in seeing Jesus for who He is, I have to erase the lines I thought were true and replace them with shades that don’t make any sense in my finite understanding. And that scares me to know that everything I believe must meet the reality of who I discover Him to be.
But it’s funny, because I always seem to find Him filled with love when I expect to find someone of whom I should be afraid of. He’s always unimaginably more loving and gracious and perfect than I expect Him to be. I think the hard part is letting my guard down long enough to realize that maybe- just maybe- I’ve fallen in love with Someone greater than I ever could have dreamed of, and that He is in love with me as well. And it looks nothing how I thought it would, but it’s more than I could have ever hoped for.