When the next stop came, I made my move. I got up from my seat and stood, holding onto the bar just over his head. I was right next to him. It was the perfect seat. As I secretly watched him work, I quickly noticed he wasn’t creating any gigantic masterpiece, just sketching a hand here or a face there. He never spent more than a subway stop or two on a single sketch before moving on.
Every time he set his pencil down on a fresh corner of the page to start something new, I found myself guessing what it was he was creating. Every time this happened though, all I could make out was just a series of lines and swirls that, to me, made not logistical sense. This man, however, kept cool and calm, never once pausing or stopping to figure out where he was going next. He didn’t need to. I may have been confused, but he knew exactly what he was doing.
Then out of nowhere, as if I were arriving late for the party, the image would come into focus for me—a hand, a child, a footprint. It usually became clear just before ole’ Joe Pecsi would finish the doodle and move on to the next one.
To the outside eye, ninety-percent of the creative process is just a series of blurred lines or dashes of lead on paper. It’s only in those few moments of clarity that we get to see clearly what the artist has been seeing in his head all along. In these moments, we are blessed enough to experience what I now call, an unforeseen collision with beauty.
God works as the ultimate artist, the creator of all good things, and He’s still creating to this day. In every single one of our lives, God is in the process of doodling a new sketch. With our untrained, outside eyes, God’s movement in our lives often looks like nothing more than blurred lines and pointless squiggles. There is no sense to it, and we spend most of our time living in the uncertainty of a sketch that is yet unfinished. We cannot even fathom what God is trying to create in us. But every now and then comes a moment of clarity where the image becomes clear, and we have a collision with grace, with love, or with hope. When we trust the Creator, we encounter a clear image made up of a bunch of blurred lines, and it is always beautiful.