Monday, May 11, 2015

Status: Unfinished

My name is Dan and if you know me personally, have read any of the posts up to this point, or follow my posts on Instagram then you have figured out that I LOVE to draw.
Before I get into why I have these two pictures posted above, let me just say, the ability to create and be artistic has been one of my favorite things about life.
I love creativity!                                                  
I love being able to see something that no one else can see, and bring it to life. I love to watch others work in their gifts because you literally have the privilege of seeing The Creator expressed through them at that moment. Be it music, poetry, or art, skills and talents utilized with a passion is a beautiful sight to see. I love making and building things that are unique and for as long as I can remember, I have always looked for ways to create things that I want to express to the world around me.                                                                  
 To the right was a project I made out of some old wood scraps. I also am a Superman fanatic and I wanted to make a box to hold my Superman DVDs in style so using the scraps of wood, I created a "Fortress of Solitude" themed display box.

If it can be dreamed up, it can be done! The drawback to this is that the routine tasks become difficult to perform because there is just to many ways to get things done beside the normal everyday methods. I was making breakfast and put some strawberries out on the plate to balance it out in nutrition and color when I spied a ceramic kitchen knife on the corner of the counter. It was all over at that point because the strawberries needed to be made into something more than just strawberries. See what I mean? It's a hopeless situation. Materials + tools = create.

My favorite method of expression would be through art. I LOVE to draw.
Drawing, for me, is one of the most relaxing activities that I can engage in because the possibilities of where you can take a picture is completely limitless.The flow of the pencil on the paper pushes away any thoughts but the ones that you choose to help you accomplish what you are trying to express. Whether its drawing a soft ripple in a wave or the eyeball of a child.                                                                            (The pieces to the right are scratch board chess pieces that were created as part of a set of three, and the smaller colored piece was a drawing I did of my oldest son and I standing on the beach in St.Augustine, Florida. We went there on a trip when he was about 14 months old.)                      
 If I had to pick a favorite way to draw it would be Portraits. They either turn out really REALLY Good or they turn out really REALLY bad and the thrill for me is the possibility for my work to go either way. It has gone both ways on my personal projects as well as pieces I have been commissioned to draw for others. No, I will not post those pictures!

 (Me and my oldest son when he was two years of age. I call this piece "Daddy's Arms". It speaks to me of what my heavenly Father desires for my relationship with Him to look like. Safe, trusting and completely comfortable in His love for me.)

(# 2 Pencil sketch of me and my oldest son at 2 weeks old)
(Pencil sketch of my youngest son at 3 years old. He is wearing his Captain America Helmet and  Batman cape while clutching his Captain America shield and two trusty mag lights in each hand. He is also wearing a diaper because even the toughest of superheroes are capable of making stinky situations.)
I was going through the art studio the other day and laying out projects and pieces I need to get done that have been taken to various stages of completion when the thought hit me: "Dan, these pieces are NOT finished yet."
The pieces I have on the desk need various levels of work yet and it was in the pile on the desk that I got lost in thought.  

The unfinished pictures were of people who are also unfinished. The beauty of that thought needs to sink in for just a moment so may I please restate the obvious?

Every one of us currently stands at one level of completion or another and there is not one of us who has "arrived". We are all a work in progress. A sketch on the desk if you will and to expect completion in ourselves or another is wrong.

People do not always do what you think they should and people will let you down. This will happen continually because to never do so would mean that a person is finally done.

I do not need to dwell on specifics here because all of us are at different stages but no matter how badly you think you have messed up may I just remind you that ...


 The details of your portrait at this stage may look terrifying, ridiculous, or even shameful but the picture is nowhere near complete. The lines are not all darkened and the shading has been left out and at this stage in the process it would be easy to throw in the towel because of the way things appear. What you have right now is a work in progress. To close the book now would be like reading a child the story of King Kong and closing the book at the part where the ape grabs the girl and runs off into the jungle. The story was nowhere near the end and neither is yours. You are not finished yet and neither is God finished with your portrait. 

(This is a pencil sketch of King Kong that currently lies in my "Unfinished" pile)

Let me go back the side by side that I opened this post with. One picture is of me sitting at my art desk, pen in hand and ready to go, the other is of who I truly unfinished work.

You are also unfinished and for someone reading this post, you have been beating yourself up over choices and circumstances that you may have experienced, chosen, or even created and may I just say that the creator, THE MASTER ARTIST is not done with your picture yet. You can exhaust yourself by trying to "Make it happen" or work yourself into completion in your own strength or you can realize that the pen is and will continue to stay in His hand. He is the only one that can create a masterpiece from your lines and smudges.

When I draw at the house, I constantly tell my kids, "Do NOT shake the table". When we try to control things in our story and make things happen out of our own strength I refer to this as "Shaking the table".

Stop struggling trying to "Self improve" and realize that the only way this thing is going to work together for God is through Christ! (Romans 8:28)

Self effort will only take you as far as you are able to take you. (I have tried this method) God is perfectly able to transform your scribbles into a truly beautiful work!

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." ~ Ephesians 2:10

This is you. Workmanship. God created you to be seen and displayed because in you, He is able to be seen. Let me illustrate this. As you looked at the art above, you thought to yourself, "This guy is good." (I'm not saying this to be vain) Your thoughts went to the artist didn't they?
So you and I as His workmanship cause others to think of the The Artist. We complain about the lousy lines and smudges of our picture and who does that reflect upon ultimately? We keep our trust IN Him and our eyes and ears turned toward Him as He works in us and who does that reflect upon ultimately?

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:" ~ Colossians 2:8-10

 The issue of your righteousness is fully COMPLETE in Him, but the picture of your life, legacy and influential impact is far from complete. Let Him work and stop shaking the table!!!

"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" ~ Phillipians 1:6


Stop beating yourself up and stop being so tough on those around you. God's desk is FULL of unfinished pictures and yours is in it's place on that table. Here is your word for the day.

"He is not finished, so you are not finished. If He is still working, back up and stop shaking the table. Give Him room to work."

 Climbing with you,

* If you enjoyed this post, may I recommend:

"You had it all the time" :Click Here

"God's Phone Booth" : Click Here

"Just a Scratch" : Click Here


  1. Isn't it amazing how creativity brings forth more creativity! Great tie-in to the creative work God is still doing in us. Thanks, Dan. I'll highlight your post on the Christian Poets & Writers blog -

  2. Thank you Dan. As a fellow creative soul this really resonated with me. Wonderful reflections, and great art by the way!