Glory be to God for dappled things –”
— Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Pied Beauty”
I’ve dealt with self-esteem issues for most of my life, and sometimes I find it hard to like myself. On days when that happens, I’ve found it helpful to remember exactly who (and whose) I am. In “A Marvelous Display,” Dr. Stanley writes, “God not only created each of us physically, but for those of us who have been saved through Jesus’ death and resurrection, He’s also made us new creatures in Christ. Furthermore, Ephesians 2:10 says, ‘We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.’ To me, the word workmanship means ‘masterpiece’ or ‘something of notable value and excellence.’”
It’s a fine definition, to be sure. Poiéma, the Greek word for “workmanship,” can also be translated as “a thing made” or “a work” and happens to be the root word from which we get the English terms “poem” and “poet.” As a writer who spends her days tinkering with words and sentences, I find the idea that I am “God’s poem” rather delightful. After all, poems don’t write themselves. They take time and painstaking attention to detail to create, something that most people don’t recognize.
Thinking about the finest poems and works of art I've had the pleasure to experience, it’s amazing to consider this: God brings an even more remarkable level of attention to every jot and tittle of us, His masterpieces, than anything we could muster as sub-creators (though some of the things we compose and shape are pretty amazing).
God brings an even more remarkable level of attention to every jot and tittle of us, His masterpieces, than anything we could muster as sub-creators.
In Genesis, God creates everything with His words, saying “Let there be,” but with Adam and Eve, the work was more intimate. Our Father handcrafted the first man (whose name means “ground” or “earth”) from the dust and “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Gen. 2:7). Like him, we are clay in the Potter’s hand (Isa. 64:8) and beautiful creations skillfully woven or knitted together in the womb (Psalm 139:13-15). May we always remember our full worth and where it comes from.
Illustration by Adam Cruft