There is an amazing story behind the the famous Michelangelo sculpture of David, the Bible hero. As a layman though, I am sure that I cannot fully appreciate its artistic value. It took a certain boldness for the Renaissance artist to sculpt him naked illustrating the depth of the idea that when David came to fight Goliath, his giant opponent, he came with only the strength and protection of faith in his God.
That alone coupled with the fine work of art is enough to amaze us. But there is an interesting story behind this amazing sculpture. Agostino d'Antonio, a sculptor of Florence, Italy, wrought diligently but unsuccessfully on a large piece of marble. “Bah; nothing can be done with it!” he said. Discouraged, he left it to other sculptors who also gave up the notion that anything good could come out of this piece of marble. The stone was then discarded. It lay on a rubbish heap for forty years.
Michelangelo saw the stone and in it saw the possibilities. He brought it to his studio and immediately began to work on it. Ultimately, his vision and hard labor were crowned with success. From that seemingly worthless piece of rock was carved one of the world's masterpieces of sculpture.The idea also plays with the life of David. The Bible tells of Samuel the prophet samuel visiting Jesse’s family in order to anoint a king for Israel. Jesse introduces all of his sons except David whom he thought too young, maybe the ‘runt of the litter’. Later, in his poetry, David who eventually became that king related to this episode of his life in the following words, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. (Ps 118:22).
How many times do we look at some people just like Jesse concerning david or Agostino d'Antonio with that piece of rock and say “Bah; nothing good can come out of him/her!” Why not instead like Samuel and Michelangelo , look at them with a sense of wonder, seeing talent, opportunity and possibility. It could change their lives. Like they say, ‘give a dog a bad name, and you might as well kill him!’.
I can’t help but think at my own life. If someone, and even a few ‘someones’, had not stopped and seen possibilities in me, I may well have also been discarded on the rubbish heap of those rejected by cynical humanity. May we remember our worth only come from the reflection of the faith that others have in us.
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