With my magic markers spread over the den floor around me, I carefully cut the shape of a kite from a brown, paper grocery bag. The next day was to be our third grade musical, Mary Poppins, and I was so excited I was about to pop! Our music teacher had given us a project to prepare for the show. The last scene would be a grand finale with all the third graders dressed in Mary Poppins costumes singing at the top of our lungs, “Let’s Go Fly a Kite”. We were each to make our own kite and attach it to a coat hanger that had been straightened, like we do when we roast marshmallows. What a cool idea, I thought. The audience will wonder how our kites were flying. The best part was that we could decorate our kite in any way we wanted. I had a brilliant idea! Being the budding artist that I believed I was, I decided to draw not just stripes or polka dots, but a portrait of Mary Poppins herself. People in the audience and all my friends would think this was the best idea. That was it! So I sat down and began my masterpiece. I was feeling confident and sure I had accomplished my mission until those last few minutes of creating. I looked at the face staring back at me from the brown paper. Something was missing. Hmm, I thought. It needed a finishing touch: eye glasses! That was it! I had forgotten her glasses, so I got to work carefully adding her spectacles. But then something struck me. She didn’t look right, not at all. Where had I gone wrong? It dawned on me that I had drawn her from memory, not from looking at a picture. I jumped up and ran to get the cover of our vinyl album. Oh no! Mary Poppins didn’t wear glasses after all, and my portrait was not looking so supercalifragilistic. In fact, it looked more like a granny from a nursing home. The entire project had gone terribly wrong. No worries, quick, grab another bag and, draw her again without glasses. But then, in walks Mama. Spit spot, time for bed. No more time for kites, only for sleep. I panicked and realized...
I would have to show my failure to the world on stage.
Noooooo! They would all wonder why I had put a granny on my kite. I would have to wave my mistake high for all to see. I wrestled as I rested. Tossing and turning, I tried to come up with a way to hide my kite. It would definitely be the worst kite flying. I felt silly and ashamed as I drifted off to sleep.
The next morning came, the program began, and I stood there with a pit in my stomach, holding my granny kite and wanting to hide.
After formulating a carefully crafted plan, I eased toward the back of the stage. No one could even see what was on my kite. There I was hidden and safe, thinking—if only I had looked at the picture of Mary Poppins before drawing, if only…
Painters have to be brave in order to place their paintings in a gallery for all to see. Will the strokes be acceptable? Soloists must have courage to stand behind a microphone and reveal their voices to the world. Will the notes come out right? Writers shake and tremble as they hit the “publish now” button on their blog. Will the words make sense? Not just artists, but all of us have gifts, God-given gifts. When we believe that it’s our responsibility to please those around us, we feel the burden of proving ourselves in order to be accepted. It’s just too hard. It’s too difficult to let others see. We fear being rejected. The lies creep in and we want to run to the drawer and grab another brown bag. “You are not right.” “You are not enough.” “They will laugh at you.” “What in the world do you think you are doing allowing others to see who you really are?” You ease to the back of the stage of life, hiding your gifts and singing as softly as you can, no smile on your face.
Time to meet with the director of the show.
Time to hear what role he has for me in his play. Time to look at the real picture to determine who I am and who I’m supposed to be. Time to fly the kite high and show the world that I am God’s glorious masterpiece, created by Him for purposes that only I can fulfill. It’s time. Look at the picture of who your Creator says you are…then go, in joy, be that person.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10