I'm still learning about grace; I'm not sure that any of us will ever truly understand just how lavish, how beautiful, how amazing it is until the end of our lives. But I'm moving into a different stage, a stage where I want the grace I am learning about to be evident in my life.
When I first started trying to title this blog I kept thinking in terms of crafting. This was probably because I was learning to knit at the time and my inner artist had been unleashed. I like words, and I like words that have a beautiful flow to them. Intaglio (in-tal-yoh) is one of those words. I tentatively set up the blog title, walked away for several months and then came back. Looking at it through fresh eyes I knew that the image of being carved with grace was the one I wanted to convey.
The art of intaglio, also known as etching, involves engraving a design into the surface of a plate. Ink is then applied to the plate and wiped off so that all the remains is the ink in the grooves. When paper is pressed to it the ink transfers to the paper, creating a work of art. As you can see in the example above, extraordinary detail and beauty can be created by this process, detail that defies my ability to understand.
As part of God's workmanship, I want to be so deeply etched with grace that when I come in contact with others they will see the imprint of Christ. I'm a work in progress, still being etched, refined, corrected. Sometimes the etching hurts as the tools press into me in areas that I don't want touched. Sometimes I don't know where this design is going. But I am willing.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2: 8-10 (NIV)