Most people recognize the iconic face of Leonardo daVinci’s Mona Lisa.
What few realize is that there is a curious omission from her features.
At first thought, it seems strange that a portrait lacking such an obvious facial feature is still considered a masterpiece. I mean, how beautiful is a lady with no eyebrows?
But what really makes a painting a masterpiece? Consider that often it’s not as much about the subject as the skills that are displayed within the work. It’s been said that the greatness of the Mona Lisa is due to its life-like portrayal of light and human features and its accurate proportions of the human body. All of this was accomplished with a paint brush, yet the work is nearly devoid of brush strokes.
So, the greatness of the Mona Lisa is not found in the external beauty of the subject. If we looked at the Mona Lisa in person, we would not be in awe of the woman herself; we would be in awe of the painter and his unmatched skill.
God creates masterpieces infinitely more thrilling: the seas and the mountains, the galaxies and the atoms, the creatures and the skies. He has created amazing complexity that inspires awe in our hearts and thrills our souls because it displays His unmatched skill.
And He created you.
Psalm 139:13-14 says:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Some in the art world believe that daVinci painted eyebrows on the Mona Lisa which were later lost when the painting underwent a harsh cleaning. Others have speculated that the painting accurately portrays a subject who, in accordance with the Italian style of that period, had completely plucked her eyebrows. I’m no art historian, so I don’t know the real story behind those brows. Regardless, the portrait we know today doesn’t have them. I don’t know about you, but that just thrills my brow-pluckin’ heart.
Because don’t we all convince ourselves there is some sort of external thing we can do to ourselves or put on our bodies that will make us valuable? The clothes, the hair, the makeup. Sometimes we expend a little too much energy on these things because we’ve forgotten that we’re already masterpieces.
We don’t need the right hair. We don’t need perfect nails. We don’t need flat irons or name brands or matched accessories. We can pluck every last eyebrow hair out of our heads and we will still be masterpieces.
God Himself has painted His image across our souls and the blood of Jesus across our hearts. He dipped a wide brush into deep vessels of wisdom and knowledge and stroked broad swaths across our minds. He painted us in the fiery colors of passion seamlessly blended with warm tones of gentleness. He painted us curious and serious, kind and generous, bold and loyal, and funnier than all get-out.
Shoot. Just living how we’re painted and we’re walking, talking, brow-less masterpieces proclaiming the unmatched artistry of our God! Because who else can make a person like that? Who else can make a person WITH NO EYEBROWS that still makes the world step back and say, “WOW!”
God is The Master Artist, and you are a masterpiece.
Now go make the world say, “Wow.”