| Written by Sally Moore |

Art comes in all styles and mediums, and beauty is indeed, in the eye of the beholder! In a local art gallery I found this wonderful piece by a Grand Junction artist, Ron MacKendrick. He is a master wood-turnernot just your ordinary Arts and Crafts Fair, garden-variety wood-turnerbut an expert artisan who combines various exotic woods to create incredibly beautiful works of art.

One of my favorite pieces in his exhibit was made of unprepossessing pistachio wood. Standing only 8 or 9 inches, it wasn’t tall or flashy as some of its companions. Though it didn’t have inlays of complex rare woods creating amazing patterns, some of the shallow crevices had been filled with turquoise. This little piece bore no complicated shape or pretty lid. From across the showroom floor, turned as it was, this rather pedestrian piece may not have caught your eye.

“Saved” by Artist Ron MacKendrick

Closer inspection however, reveals how finely it was made. Multiple layers of sanding had smoothed all the imperfections, and every little crack or crevice had been filled with turquoise. A big gnarly knothole on the hind side might have been viewed as ugly by some, but this artist left the bark on that imperfection – a reminder of its previous hardshipsand then sealed and buffed it all to a glowing high-gloss finish.

Somewhere in the process a yawning crack formed, running the length of the pistachio vessel. Maybe the artist hesitated, and considered tossing itto start again with another type of wood. No doubt he asked himself, “who would want this now?” In my mind’s eye I can picture him as he balanced it in his hand and considered the hours invested on the pieceeven before it even made its way to his lathe.

A flash of creative genius had him reaching for a simple cord of leather. The craftsman used it as a lace to corset that fatal flaw giving the pot a unique personality and taking what could be perceived as a disability into something precious and valued.

I have never met this artist.  I don’t know his character, background or temperament. However, I saw that he didn’t give up on that little piece. Rather than chucking it aside as damaged goods, he chose instead to redeem it.
He named this work “Saved.”

You probably know where this is headed: Just like that flawed wooden pot, a carpenter long ago redeemed us. Even now, he is meeting us where we are with our empty, sin-filled lives. In his grace and loving compassion, he takes the pieces of our fatally flawed, dysfunctional vessels and binds the brokenhearted pieces together. We are redeemed by his precious blood and shaped on the Carpenter’s lathe to suit His divine vision.

Our multi-coated layers of polish come from the Word of the Living God. His Holy Spirit fills each of our imperfections and shallow cracks with unspeakably precious things and takes our knotholes and makes something beautiful of them. The enemy inflicted what he hoped would be a structural, cavernous break, hoping to scuttle our purpose or make us feel despondent, or useless. That deep wound has been supernaturally transformedhealed and made beautifulby the Master’s hand. No longer are we destined for the trash heap or burn pile! We, as followers of Jesus the Messiah, are made new.

This particular vessel was sold, while I looked on, shipped to the home of an art collector in the Northwest. This side of heaven, none of us know where life will take us or who we will encounter and impact. Each of us, however, knows the commission given to us by The Artist.

We stand as victorious testimonies of the enduring love of God, His patience and victorious grace. We are new creations. Saved by the blood of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, we are ready to represent The Artistto the harvest, to battle or to be a simple work of art and a blessing wherever we go next.