The apprentice added the final touch to the mural on the wall of the chapel and stepped back to admire his work. The scaffolding creaked and shook under his weight, but as absorbed as he was, he noticed nothing. The first 4 years of his apprenticeship were spent washing brushes, setting up scaffolds, mixing paints, washing brushes, taking down scaffolds and washing brushes. This was his first opportunity to prove himself, and he’d done it.
He examined his masterpiece with a practiced critical eye, turning his head this way and that to find any imperfection, any room for improvement.
The Artist watched his student with pride. It’d been a long 4 years, but he’d trained the apprentice for this very moment.
The feeling of pride turn to one of alarm as the apprentice took another step back and then another. The end of the precarious platform was inches away from his heels and in that split second the Artist realized that to cry out a caution would only startle the young man, and probably send him to his death on the marble floor, twenty feet below.
The Artist took the brush from the paint pot in his hand and in one swift movement, flung it up at the fresh mural. Blue paint splattered and streaked down the perfect depiction of Christ washing the disciples feet, dribbled down the wall and dripped on the floor.
The young painter ran forward in shock towards his masterpiece. It was destroyed!
He turned angry eyes full of hurt and betrayal towards his Master, never realizing how close he’d come to plummeting to his death.
“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.”
Suffering is a gift for us! I want to be able to see it that way and thank God for it in faith, knowing that I can’t see the whole picture.