We’ve all heard of the great artist Michelangelo. And I’m sure many of you have seen paintings by Monet or Picasso. But I’m certain that almost none of you are familiar with the work of the painter Paul Smith.
Born in 1921, Paul was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Doctors informed his parents that he wouldn’t survive past infancy. But Paul refused to give up. And by the time he reached 11, he was ready to start a career in art. After finding a discarded typewriter in his neighbor’s junk pile, Paul realized that this would be the perfect tool to help him create his masterpieces. After some trial and error, he discovered that he could use 11 of the keys on the keyboard to create intricate patterns. The results were amazing.
Through the years, Paul brought joy and hope to almost everyone he met. When they looked at his typewriter paintings and said, “I can’t do that,” Paul simply asked, “Well, what can you do?”
That question got me thinking. So often in our lives, we can look at everything we don’t have. We highlight our disadvantages instead of looking positively at who we are and what we do right. But the apostle Paul teaches us something different. We read in his letter to the Ephesians that “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
I’ve read other versions of this verse that phrase it like this, “We are God’s workmanship.” What I really enjoy about that translation is the idea that none of us is disposable. We are each created by God – a creation that he takes pride in. He loves us, no matter what. And before we were even born, he created good works for us to do.
While we might not be able to create artwork like Paul Smith, we all are able to partner with Christ in the work he is doing every single day. Let’s see what we can accomplish together.
I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking of LIFE.