A Painting Parable

Under Con/Destruction(Original image by khaane)

I’m doing home construction/renovation work as my summer job, which is meaning that I’m doing a whole lot of painting. The bathroom that we’re currently working on was not constructed to the most exacting standards (read: shite) so that our fresh coat of paint is only moderately covering the dodgy workmanship underneath.

This got me to thinking about how this is a parable for our lives. We like to hide our battered and bruised state with all kinds of surface things, thinking that slapping a shiny coat of paint on will hide the brokenness beneath. While it might fool some, anyone who pays attention will immediately notice the obvious imperfections that are all the more glaring due to the shiny surface. Oh, and the glossier the paint, the more obvious the defects become.

The other approach is much less glamorous. It involves patching, sealing, sanding, and maybe even whole new sections of wall. You have to rip away the veneer to get at what’s underneath The old might even have to be destroyed to make way for something truly beautiful. This is messy, ugly and nothing anybody wants to live in. That’s why so few people do it. We’re a society of the quick fix; of instant gratification.

But the finished product is something to be proud of. Once the paint finally goes on, you know that it’s all the work beneath the surface that’s making the paint look good. Most of the effort has been expended in everything but the surface, and paradoxically, the surface looks all the better for it.

Whatever room you’re in, look beneath the surface of the walls and see what kind of approach was followed. In the same way, look beneath the surface of your life and see what lies beneath.

Lord, I am ready to be messy. Builder of my soul, I am ready.

3 responses to “A Painting Parable”

  1. great blog matt. really great. can’t help but wonder, where have i put wallpaper up in my life?… ew. no wonder we don’t like to think about this type of thing.

  2. Greg: thanks for the comment. I need to start carrying a notebook with me, because I’m surprised I remembered this after all the paint fumes!

    Steph: cheers, and gross! The even better part about throwing wallpaper into the mix is how often it’s used to hold up a disintegrating wall!

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