In one of the old cathedrals in Europe, the tour guide bids the visitor watch a certain spot, until the light from a window falls upon it. There he sees, carved on a rafter, a face of such marvelous beauty that it is the very gem of the great building. The legend tells us that when the architect and masters were planning the adornment of the cathedral, an elderly man came in and begged permission to do some work. They felt that his tottering steps and trembling hands unfitted him for any great service; so they sent him up to the roof, and allowed him to carve upon one of the rafters. He went his way; and day by day, he worked there in the darkness. One day, he was not seen to come down; and when they went up, they found the man lying lifeless upon the scaffolding, with his sightless eyes turned upward. And there they saw a face carved upon the rafter – a face of such exceeding beauty, that architects and great men reverently took off their hats as they looked upon it and recognized the master’s touch in the hands of him who lay there silently in death.
In the Church of the living God, we are all set to work to carve the beauty of the face of Christ – not upon the rafters or walls of any cathedral, but upon our own heart and life. May we do this work with such care and skill, that when our eyes are closed in death, men may look with reverence upon the beauty of the Face which our hands have fashioned. Some of us may feel ourselves too feeble or too unskilled to do any great work in this world for Christ, but none are too feeble or too unskilled to carve the beauty of Christ upon our life. And it may be that on the Day of great revealings, it shall appear that some trembling disciple among us – timid and shy, whose voice is not heard in our meetings, whose work is in some quiet out-of-sight corner – has made a picture of the beauty of Christlikeness in an exquisiteness which shall outshine all that any of the greatest of us have ever done.
In what ways can you carve the beauty of the face of Christ upon your own heart and life today? Even if your calling does not place you behind a pulpit or under the public eye – even if your calling is nothing more than to quietly serve the Lord within the four walls of your own home – what can you do today that will add another touch to the picture of the beauty of Christlikeness in your own life?
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to leave your reflections and ask your questions in the Comments section below.
God bless you and your family, this day and always.
All for the King’s glory,
photo by Anthony Delanoix on Unsplash
This post is another installment of Miller’s Monday Musings, a weekly series that is published every Monday on our website. The series features selected writings that have been adapted from the works of James Russell Miller (1840-1912), a much-beloved Christian author and pastor who is well-remembered for his practical thoughts on Christian home and family life. Learn more about this weekly series by clicking here.