20: Paintings

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When we were first painted, our colors were dazzling… we were called …. precious… priceless… beautiful… cute.

But as time went on we began to HEAR the MOCKING sounds from other paintings…“I’m smarter…I’m stronger…I’m richer…I’m prettier…I’m better…”

Before long we accepted the lie that our value was based on COMPARISON. We began to DOUBT our worth. We felt the need to PROVE it (both to ourselves & others).

In some HOMES parents UNDERMINED their children’s worth, saying, “You’re such an embarrassment to me.” “You’re nothing but trouble.” “You’re always blowing it.” “Why can’t you be like your sister?” “You’ll never amount to anything.”

Such comments SCAR FOR YEARS…How many ADULTS… UNCONSCIOUSLY… are still trying to PROVE their WORTH to their parents?

One day I noticed my colors had faded, and I was contemplating my depreciating VALUE…when all of a sudden…someone yelled, “RUN, the Artist is coming! Don’t let Him catch you. He’s mean. He’ll hurt you.”

Before I could run, He caught my eye. I’ve never seen such compassionate EYES nor a kinder VOICE. He said, “Marlon, you think your significance and value is determined by your talents… accomplishments… intelligence… affluence…or appearance.

“But what determines the VALUE of a famous painting? Not its size or colors, but the SIGNATURE of the artist. Let Me show you your worth…”

He reached out to touch me… I flinched! Others had warned me that His touch would be rough. But it wasn’t. He gently wiped away the mud from my lower left side. Suddenly, His signature came into clear focus…Jesus.

“My love isn’t based on what you do or accomplish. I love you because you are My creation. I love all these other paintings, too. I painted each of you in My image… that’s why you can think… choose… create… hold conversations… share ideas…

I painted into your fabric various talents: some Music…Art… Business… Leadership… Science… Mechanics… Cooking… Athletics… Electronics.

“I gave you these different talents to BLESS each other, not to COMPARE YOURSELVES. But many of My paintings have MISTAKENLY thought that being DIFFERENT meant they were BETTER.”

Each of you carries God’s signature. EVERY painting by this Artist is a Masterpiece. Every color combination is beautiful!

He painted you ON PURPOSE for PURPOSE and He loves you very much. You and I are of INESTIMABLE and EQUAL worth to Him.

Marlon Furtado

I regularly went to church as a boy, but I was not exposed to the Gospel until I was nearly twenty years old. Hearing that God loved me in spite of my behavior was new to me. In response, I received Jesus Christ and became one of His followers on September 12, 1971. I practiced chiropractic for eight years before becoming a pastor from 1986 to 2018.