Wednesday, March 06, 2019

The Sculptor

Imagine that you're a sculptor. You're working in marble, and it's your desire to create a beautiful statue made of marble. To that end, you have a large, unformed block of the stone in front of you.

Some of the stone is fractured. There are faults. But much of it is solid and sound. As an experienced sculptor, you recognize the flaws, plan your work, and begin on a project that is as much about destruction as it is creation.

Consider this: with each tap of your hammer, with each mark of your chisel you destroy, you remove, you damage some of the stone. It lies there on the floor to be swept away. As the project continues, you soon have excised more stone than remain in the sculpture itself. Even stone that is good and sound may not be part of the final design, and is chipped away.

At the end of this process you have the beautiful statue that you envisioned. But the entirety of the process aside from its conception... every bit of it... consisted of a systematic and planned destruction of portions of the stone before you.

Clearly, in this case, destruction isn't bad. It's a necessary part of achieving something very good.

Keep in mind, too, that at any time you could have raised your hammer in anger and frustration. You could have smashed the entire work with a sledgehammer. You could even have refrained from touching any of the sound stone, chipping away only the flawed portions. You could have sculpted it in a different way. No one denies your power to do it.

Yet, despite your power to act in that way, if you did you would not in the end have the beautiful statue of which you conceived. The fact that you did not destroy the statue does not in any way reflect on your power to do so.


People often ask why bad things happen to good people, and why an omnipotent God allows evil to exist. God doesn't allow it... as Isaiah said, "I am the LORD, and there is none else.  I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil.  I am the LORD, that does all these things" (Isaiah 45,6-7).

The statue of David by Michaelangelo.
Follow this link to Britannica
to read how this exquisite work of art was extracted
from stone that expert opinion has judged 'mediocre quality'