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Three Nondescript Works of Art

There they are. Filling a narrow strip of wall space which makes up a part of the collage of my girlfriend

and me . . . Photos full of memories, eliciting smiles, laughter, thoughts of ‘back then.’ Some photos have such

a magnitude of attraction and recall of events that they have become priceless to me. That one there, for

instance, is of my girlfriend at twelve years of age when her beauty was only beginning to blossom. I fall in

love all over again as I gaze into her eyes. And that one over there depicts me in a white suit playing my

saxophone. Oh, yeah! And this one here is full of special memories as my wife and I are photographed as we

happily stand under an umbrella in the rain. The unseen photographer friend has already gone to be with Jesus,

so we both are more determined to meet him one day in heaven.

But enough of strolling down Memory Lane. Back to those three nondescript works of art. George

Bernard Shaw used the word nondescript in this sentence: “not easily described … a nondescript mixture of

styles in the worst possible taste.” The dictionary defines something nondescript as “lacking distinctive or

interesting qualities―dull, drab.” Well, maybe. Probably… OK! They are!

As already mentioned, those ‘masterpieces’ are strategically placed one on top of the other to fill this

narrow space between the photo collage wall and the first of several bookcases. Over the top of these doubtful

works of art is my necessary and much-used clock.

The dictionary said dull and drab, right? Well, let’s see what you think. The first one on the top is a

rather…uhm–drab looking plaster casting of a fig leaf seemingly pressed upon the pages of a book. Now, the

obvious question arises, “What is that doing on the wall of your office?” Two reasons come to mind. (1) I must

never forget that fig leaves will not cover sin. (2) The plaster casting was a fourth-grade project in Miss Tobin’s

class. The rubber mold was not my choice…it was the only one left to choose from! However, since this man

from California has lived thirty-six years here in Canada―the land of the Maple Leaf―I now see God’s hand in

the events in that grade four classroom. Listen to Isaiah 46:9 (MSG). “Remember your history, your long and

rich history. I am GOD, the only God you’ve had or ever will have—incomparable, irreplaceable. From the

very beginning telling you what the ending will be, All along letting you in on what is going to happen,

Assuring you, ‘I’m in this for the long haul, I’ll do exactly what I set out to do.” 

Now we see a wooden carving of a single daisy (or is it a sunflower?) Carved at a time many years ago

when a heavy trial was upon her, my wife needed a mental diversion. She chose to carve an object of brilliant

beauty, painting it in such a way as to direct one’s attention from the struggles of tribulation to the beauty of

God’s goodness and blessings. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” springs to

mind as I view that beautiful nondescript work of art.

And just beneath the sunflower of God’s blessings is another wood carving, this one perhaps being a

joint venture between us. A pear tree is presented as having leaves, blossoms, and fruit. The perspective

necessary in most works of art is missing … glaringly so. But even though the fruit is grossly oversized in

relation to the tree itself, so are the blossoms of promise. The blossoms are so plush looking, so colorful, so

indicative of fruit yet to be eaten, it is almost possible to smell the fragrance of the fruit.

Funny, isn’t it, how a grade-four kid’s project … a couple of ‘busy-work’ hobbies have become assuring

expressions of God’s near presence, His guiding hand, His un-broken promises down through the years. If you

have a narrow strip of wall space in your life, check it out.

Perhaps you need to hang a few reminders of God’s great faithfulness so you can see them often.

Francis Mason

Pastor Mason