By Bruce Stanley, President / CEO
I just finished Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo da Vinci, and found it interesting that Leonardo thought of himself primarily as engineer and designer and not painter.
Isaacson makes clear that while Da Vinci’s staggering abilities to paint, sculpt, design, and engineer are easy to envy, these gifts came with a great cost. One cost was da Vinci’s deliberate pace. Da Vinci painted so slowly and meticulously he was unable to paint frescoes; the plaster would dry before he could finish even a small section. Another personal cost was an inability to consider any work “done.” For instance, the “Mona Lisa” was a work in progress for 17 years. He was convinced that everything could be improved and that no work of art – fortress, machine, drawing, or painting – was ever fully formed. He left behind far more unfinished works than completed ones.
As I consider this, I am convinced of two great truths. One is, from time to time, he must have been worn out with this passionate drive toward perfection. Two is that deep within himself, da Vinci, the most creative of us, knew intimately the intent of God our supreme creator.
We are all works of God’s hand, individual pieces of art created “in the image of God.” God’s creation does not stop at birth; we are shaped throughout life – God works on us, knowing full well that none of us on this side of the River Jordan will ever be fully formed in our faith or in our service. Yet continue to work God does! I thank our staff for their willingness to do likewise. We commit every day to perfecting the lives of the children and families entrusted to our care. We work as da Vinci did his creations, doing and redoing, looking from a distance and examining up close. We trust that, as we work to create healthy and happy lives, God as creator, redeemer, and sustainer guides our brush and lights our work.
Thank God for this work that is never perfected!