Any little glimpse of an Eric Carle book will reflect his use of collage. His style is colorful and bright. Tissue paper is an essential in his artwork. He paints the sheets of tissue paper and eventually cuts them into shapes like a puzzle to form his collaged picture. You can see his painting techniques here. His process is very interesting to me.
Imagine painting a pattern. You select colors and patterns. You aren’t painting a picture , but a pattern. Still, each page becomes art. Each piece has a beauty of its own and a unique tone and value.
I think this is the same process that God employed when building his church. We are all a piece of His picture. We have beauty and value all our own, but we are not the picture. We are simply a pattern within it.
As the church we should be a very special pattern. We don’t follow the pattern of this world, but we are transformed through Christ in us. We have something special. Our pattern should be so beautiful and exceptional that the world will want to stop and stare. When we are in unity with one another we build a compound and meaningful picture that the world can see clearly. They don’t just see splashes of color and light, but they see the very face of God reflected in our devotion to one another.
Unity is a hard concept to grasp. We struggle with the concept from the time the cord is cut until we take our last breath. In our society independence is turned into self sufficiency in the blink of an eye. We really feel like we can go it alone, but we weren’t meant to. We think we know best. We act as if we are the picture.
I deal with a lot of sibling rivalry in my house. I watch the battles for power and it crushes me to see the fragmented pictures of a family. I imagine that God has a similar feeling when he watches His church fragmented and fighting for power or importance instead of coming together to show themselves as the family of God.
Psalm 133:1 says “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!”
If you’ve ever lived with squabbling children you know this scripture is true. Your house is so much more peaceful when everyone learns to “just get along”. But it is downright pleasant when there is unity. Unity is more than getting along, it’s like mindedness. It is a complete bond of vision. It isn’t just tolerance that says “I’ll put up with you”, but love which says “we share one heart”. Unity is a masterpiece of God.
You are a piece of God’s artwork. You are unique and special in your own right. You have a function and a value that will draw the world to you. God made you that way. No one is more important. No one steals the show.
1Corinthians 12:14-20 says “14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.”
We all have value and together we make a beautiful picture. What sticks us all together- our glue-is love. Colossians 3:14 says “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” God is love and through him we make a very cool picture. In unity we reflect his goodness.