By John Gipson
Years ago, while preaching for a week in Victoria, Texas, I walked past a bank building and noticed some small bronze sculptures of a mother quail and her young. I paused and marveled at the beauty of this work. Wanting to know who the artist was, I went into the bank and made inquiry. As it turned out he was a local Mexican welder with a shop only four or five blocks down the street. Having some time to spare, I decided to meet him and tell him how impressed I was with his work.
When we met, he was under a pickup, welding on a trailer hitch. He said, “I do this kind of work for my stomach. The sculptures I do for my soul.” Impressed, I asked to see other works he had done. He showed me a few, and then remarked that a number of others were in museums and office buildings, but he could show me some catalogues from several countries in South America that featured his work. (Some years later I visited the museum in Houston , Texas , and saw two of his sculptures on exhibit.)
Now for the lesson this sculptor taught me: In explaining his work, he said, “Years ago I discovered that I cannot make anything beautiful without being beautiful myself. So, early each morning I go down by the river and pray that God will make me a beautiful person.”
Centuries before, John Milton wrote, “A writer ought himself to be a true poem if he wishes to write well…in laudable things.”
Jesus gives His followers an excellent commission: “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
To accomplish this, the Christian must be a true poem of the gospel if he wishes to prove in practice the things that are excellent.
–John Gipson, Windsong Notes, Little Rock , Ark.; via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com