I love to paint, and while I’m no artist, what I know of the process is that when painting a subject matter you start with the background and lay your foundation for the painting.
Where will the painting be set?
Even though your painting might be of a beautiful young woman smiling mysteriously, she is still sitting in front of something.
Will she be in front of the stars?
Then you will start by painting the dark sky, and then adding the stars.
How much effort will you put into the stars?
Will you dot them randomly about? After all, they’re not the focus of your painting.
Will you spell out a message to the viewer? Will it spell your name? Tell a story?
This detail is important.
Anyone can make some dots on some paper.
It takes skill, patience and love to place them with care.
Once you’ve decided on your setting, and painted your background, you move on to your midground.
If your painting is underwater, this could be come coral, fish, or the nearby sea floor.
The Himalayas might be crevasses, snow, maybe you’d add an abominable snowman for the observant viewer.
Again, you could slap some paint on the canvas and be done with it.
Or, you could tale time and care to make it perfect.
And now, finally, you would turn to the foreground.
Your subject matter.
Here would be the most detail, the most effort.
You would agonise over every brush stroke, question every dab of paint until it was exactly the way you wanted it.
And then, finally, you would step back, finished, and admire your work.
The background and midground would complement and frame your subject matter, but would never detract from it.
The background and midground would be breathtaking, but all focus would be on the foreground.
When people view it, all but a select few who critique art would notice the subject matter, or would admire the painting as a whole.
The minor decisions you made in telling a story or spelling your name in the stars would more often than not go unnoticed.
But that’s ok.
You didn’t paint the thing so people would admire your ability to paint little white dots.
You wanted to capture your subject in all its beauty, and you have done so.
But the whole painting is what wows the viewer, whether they know it or not.
A woman in front of a stark white background is not going to impress many people.
But all together.
All together it is breathtaking.
And in this whole process, I see God’s creation.
God created the heavens and the earth, the stars and the ocean, so we would have a background in which to live.
And just look at the amount of detail in it all!
God proclaims His Glory in the stars, and the heavens declare his handiwork.
Scientists are still discovering hidden details in the background.
What care and effort must have gone into it that it is still being discovered?
If God put that much time and effort into the background of His masterpiece, how much more did he put into us?
Never doubt your importance or beauty. God spent so much effort creating the beauty of the world to complement and frame his favourite creation – you.