The parable of the Painter
Imagine that our world had no people in it except for a painter. One day this painter decided to create a painting like no other. He paints a world, and in this world he paints people. This painting has the painter’s creative energy immersed into the painted world- it’s as if a part of the painter’s personality has also been painted into the world (That’s how immersed he is into it). After the painter finishes the painting he clicks his fingers and all of a sudden the people in his painting come alive. They become aware of the world they find themselves in and go to live life within their painted world.
However these painted people have been painted by the painter who immersed all of who he was into the painting, and as such the ‘DNA’ (For lack of a better way to explain) of the painter people runs through the painted people’s veins. Their need to create and expand is innate in their DNA, and since the painter himself is kind and caring it’s innate in their DNA to also be kind and caring. But it doesn’t take too long before the painted people start to do what they want their own way. With their freewill they do whatever they want, even if it’s destructive. With their freewill, they start going against their innate sense (Their DNA if you will) of what it means to be a painted person. Their freewill against their DNA leads to breakdown of the painting itself. The painting starts to fall apart.
Over time the painted people start to wonder if there is a painter or not. Deep down it’s like they believe in a painter, but this deep down sense of being painted is clouded by the day to day life of the painted world they live in. Some painted people take the speculation of their being a painter seriously and so they create groups with other painted people who believe the theories about who the painter is, what the painter’s purpose and plans are etc, while other painted people don’t believe in a painter or really don’t care, while others still have their own individual theories of who the painter is (Some people in this group even mix and match ideas from the different theories of the painter from the more established theory groups).
The painter is observing all of this, and he has especially noticed that the painted people have used their freewill to make destructive decisions in their world that are contrary to the purpose of the painting itself. The painter decides to set the record straight with the painted people. And so the painter grabs his paint brush and paints a door into his painted world, and armed only with paint and a brush, the painter steps into his painted world. As the painted people meet their painter some doubt thinking he is just a crazy man claiming to be the painter, and others celebrate, and others don’t care. In their midst of confusion and doubt the painter starts painting objects from within his painting which only confirms to the people more and more the signs that he is indeed the painter who has decided to break into his created world to put things back on track from the inside out. Through the painter they re-discover their purposes, and they also have a clear expression of who the true painter is.
^Sounds like a bizarre parable right? Well it’s only a parable. Parables were like short stories Jesus told back in his day. He told these parables as ways to get people thinking, and to eventually lead them into a new way of viewing the world. Parables like the one above and like the one’s Jesus told aren’t meant to be taken too literally as they are only stories to get you thinking about the bigger ideas that they are pointing to. The parable I told above is meant to act like a story for the exact same purpose: to get you thinking, and to eventually lead the reader into a new way of viewing the world. So what’s the parable I told about pointing towards? What’s the bigger idea I am attempting to illustrate?
That’s for me to explain next week. As for now, don’t read too much into the parable (They aren’t there to be read too much into) but take some time to think about what the parable might mean. Until next week…Peace. (Still confused? That’s kind of the point this week. Sometimes Jesus told a parable and then explained it. That’s how I’ll be doing it: the explanation is next week).