This week in our homeschooling community, children are learning about the great Italian artist and sculptor, Michelangelo. One of his best-known and loved works is his painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. He painted the ceiling entirely while lying on his back. To do this, he had to build a tall and strong scaffold with wooden planks so that he could climb the scaffold and be close enough to the ceiling to paint it.
As children learn about him, they are to tape a sheet of paper underneath a table and paint a picture by lying down on their backs.
There is an inspiring story about Michelangelo. One day as he was painting the Sistine Chapel, one of his aides came in to check on him. When he walked into the chapel, there were candles everywhere. It was all dark and musty. Michelangelo could not be seen. So his aide cried out, “Michael?” He heard no sound. “Michael, are you here?” He heard some noise in the corner in the dark, behind the post, up above the nave in the secret place where no one could see. He called again, “Michael?” And he heard his voice, “Yes! I am busy”. The aide looked up in the dark, up above and there was Michelangelo on his back with a painting brush in between his teeth and one in his hand and his palate in the other, he was painting the feathers of one of the angels where no one will ever see. The aide asked him, “Michael, what are you doing up there?” He answered, “I am painting the ceiling.” The puzzled aide said, “but…but you are putting details on the feather of the wings of an angel in the dark, behind the post, above the nave, behind the rafters where no one will ever see it. Why waste time??” And without catching his breathe, Michael spoke through the brush in between his teeth, “But God sees it!” And he kept on painting……
In the quiet and sunny afternoon, after I put my daughter to sleep, as I was arranging all the things for Asher to do this activity, I asked myself, if my daily efforts of teaching him and creating memories of learning for him would ever be noticed and truly understood by anyone. I wondered if they will ever be treasured by him when he grows up. Amidst these questioning thoughts, this story has spoken a promising message to my heart!
Perhaps my thoughts echo yours in some ways. Many of our daily tasks remain unobserved by others. They don’t generally get clapped for. They aren’t qualified enough to even become our Facebook or Instagram stories. As social media culture is about clicking, filtering, and uploading life’s wonderful events, Our everyday life work always remains unseen within the walls.
Raising and teaching children, running household errands, taking care of an unwell family member, caring for a special child, being there for a hurting friend, contributing your time and efforts for the vision close to your heart, working tirelessly for your family’s sustenance, just seem like you are adding details to the feather of the wings of an angel behind the post, up above in the nave, in the dark and musty place, behind the rafters, in the secret corner where no one will ever see. And just like the aide, we might ask ourselves, why waste time? …..Why waste life?… Will anyone ever value it? ….Will anyone ever notice?
But the assuring truth is, God sees it and this faith must keep us doing our life’s works with excellence for the audience of ONE.
Source: About Michaelangelo – Discovering Great Artists by MaryAnn F. Kohl & Kim Solga