When I lived in Chicago I liked going to the Art Institute and looking at paintings by Ivan Albright. He is “noted for his meticulously detailed, exaggeratedly realistic depictions of decay and corruption” (Encyclopedia Britannica). In his portraits he painted every wrinkle, every pimple, every mole. His paintings were fascinating, but kind of ugly and gruesome. He was looking too closely.
I did the same thing with a faux wood sample I was working on. I got up right next to it and was seeing a really light tan color as the base color. I tried to make my copy by starting with that color. But no matter what paints and tints I mixed, I just couldn’t get my copy to look right.
The next day I sat eating lunch across the room from my sample and it hit me: I was looking at it too closely! I needed to back up and see the big picture. When I did, I saw that the overall base color was much darker than I’d originally thought. I started with the new base color and finished my copy.
I’ve noticed that this principle of narrow and intense examination can work negatively in real life as well as in paintings. If we start looking too closely, we’re more likely to see flaws and things we don’t like. If we back up to see the bigger picture, and make more of an effort to see people the way God sees them, then we won’t see all the little uglies that get our minds going in the wrong direction.
We only have the right to see others as God sees them. We can’t make ourselves the examiners and judges. We don’t know their whole story. Our job is to be meek to God. If He shows us evil things it’s because He trusts we will at least pray and perhaps do more as the Holy Spirit directs us to help that person.
Jesus said, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye” (Matt 7:1-5).
These are really powerful words. Jesus also told us “the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). If we can go to that place within and tap into the big picture of how God sees us and others, that’s where we want to be. Our pictures will be true.
When my wood-grain sample was finished, the head designer came to look at all the samples we’d completed. My boss showed him the piece I did and asked if there was anything he wanted done differently. The designer asked, “Is it real?” Well, in my business, that’s the biggest compliment you can get. If your faux piece looks real enough to fool the designer you’ve done very well.
I’ve tried to remember that lesson at work as well in relationships: Always take the time to step back and look from a distance to see the overall picture before jumping into the details.
My sample books with 6-7 chapters each, are always ON SALE for only .99 cents. Parts 1-4 and the holiday section (each with about 14 chapters) are only $2.99. I would love for you to have a copy of some of my writing. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Wings+Carolyn+Molica