An Unfinished Life

Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb;
all of them were written in your book;
they were fashioned day by day,
when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 139.15

We often think about our "names" being written in the Book of Life and there's scriptural merit for that. Here the psalmist indicates that God also has a sketch book with our limbs drawn on the page. Maybe it's the same big Book. Your name is at the top of the page and then below are sketches of all of your limbs and inmost parts. Your smile, the curvature of your shoulders, your spleen and lungs. Maybe even your soul. Fearfully and wonderfully drawn by the hand of God.

Can't you just imagine a huge artist's studio with sketch pads and canvas everywhere and as you look through the window you see the wild-haired LORD even wilder-eyed with pencil or brush, sketching on every white space in the room, knocking over cans of paint and furiously, lovingly, drawing us into life? An angel knocks on the window with some kind of urgent matter and the voice of The Mighty One roars: Not now! Can't you see I'm working! Figure it out yourselves! Send Clarence; he needs his wings.

Well, I can envision that.

Maybe your artist-God is a kindly old woman beside a stream outside Santa Fe, wearing a Tilley hat (only the best for God, right?), meticulously applying water colors to a canvas perched on a wooden easel as an afternoon storm builds. And as you walk by and steal a glance at her work, she turns and smiles and her hair blows across her face and she tucks it behind her ears and you feel all warm and Santa Fe-ish and blessed.


When I look at the psalmist's words though, I see an ongoing creative process. What if (those scary, gloriously beautiful words) our lives here on this dark and bloody planet are the womb? And we live as unfinished lives, day by day being fashioned and sketched by the Mighty One until one day we stand, fully sketched with details and colors and shading and perspective and He says: Well done!? So its not so much what we've done over the course of our lives as it is what we've become over the course of our lives. Or maybe its all the same.

I don't know. Maybe.

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