Fred Biden of Lilburn, Georgia, has a display at the Colquitt County Arts Center titled "The World as Seen Through My Eyes." His display consists of acrylic paintings brushed over canvases of "found items," as he calls them. From a distance these items are indistinguishable parts of the painting, as they yield their uniqueness to the total scope of the work. Only when one walks up close does it become apparent that the canvases are made of strange items like popsicle sticks, engine parts, zippers, the internal components of a computer, flash bulbs, chains, floppy disks, a clothespin, a rope. These items give the paintings a distinctive 3-D appearance.

A courtroom, a billiard hall, an American Flag, and a wheelchair race are among the paintings in the display. I was drawn to the painting Biden calls, "The Revival." In this painting, the preacher stands out in his white dress shirt and red tie against a dark background. The most intriguing "found item" in this painting is a dip net that is placed near the cross. It's the kind of net one would use in a small aquarium. Its position near the cross reminded me that Christians are called to be fishers of men and draw people into the Kingdom. Jesus saw the cross as a tool of God to draw people to him and his message. He once said, " 'But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.' He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die." John 12:32-33 (NIV)

As Jesus' disciples, Christians are called to be fishers of men. We are called to continue to draw people to Jesus, but too often Christians have been guilty of just being keepers of the aquarium. Our dip nets are small. We don't reach out into the ocean of the unsaved as much as we reach into our own churches to deal with the needs of those already saved. We cannot be good fishers of men if the love of God is limited to those who already are in the church. We cannot be good fishers of men if we do not allow God to use us as His vessels to transport the good news of the gospel to others in our own unique ways.

Revival happens when we trade in our dip nets for cast nets. Revival occurs when we realize that we are the net and that God wants to use us to draw others to the cross. We are supposed to allow God to use our lives as His canvas to paint whatever form of blessing to others He wants to paint. The beautiful thing is that the Lord can take our mistakes, our wrong turns, our broken promises, and our imperfections and create a scene of love, forgiveness, peace, and happiness. The Lord can take a broken life and make it into a road sign to the cross.

A Christian's job is to share the love of Jesus and tell others that God can take the most ordinary of events and the most damaged parts of our lives and form the canvas over which he will paint something beautiful and something good.



The Rev. Michael Helms is the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Moultrie.



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