”I saw an angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free”

This well known quote is from Michelangelo regarding his sculpture of an angel, now situated in Basilica of San Domenico in Bologna, Italy. The story goes that other artists had seen the rough lump of stone and had thought they could do nothing with it. But Michelangelo, the master craftsman, had looked deeper and seen something beautiful and unique within the marble, waiting to be set free.
Oh, how true this is of each of us, created in the image of God. Others may have thought poorly of you, spoken harshly to you, treated you badly, not recognised your worth. You may have done the same to yourself! (And to others?) But there is true beauty within you, once you recognise it, waiting to be set free.
Another famous quote by Michelangelo, this time about his statue of David, is ”David was always there in the marble, I just took away everything that was not David.” How profound! And how relevant for us all, when so much has been painfully taken away from us over this past year in particular, with the COVID19 pandemic.
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t liked everything that has been, at first, revealed in me – some attitudes and anxieties! But even this is good because in facing and addressing those things I am able, with God’s help, and sometimes with the help of other people too, to sculpt or remove them. And that allows more of my true, God-given, God-reflecting likeness to be set free.