Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Sculptor

It was dirty, covered in muck and filth from the pit in which it had lain, discarded and useless. There was certainly nothing attractive about it. But the sculptor had chosen this particular block of stone for his great work, and he dragged it out of the pit. He washed it clean with the purest water he could find. Immediately it looked much more promising to work with. Yet as the sculptor looked closer, he could see the deep flaws within this stone block. It was mis-shapen, and had suffered not only erosion which had caused cratering and pitting of its surface, but also it was covered in crusty deposits. It would require the greatest skill and craftsmanship to make anything of it. The sculptor was undaunted – for he could see.

As he brought it back to his workroom, the local townspeople saw what he was doing. They scoffed and laughed at him for wasting his time on yet another old block of stone, for they had seen him working on similar blocks of stone in his workroom for many, many years. The sculptor ignored them – for he could see.

Taking his mallet and chisel, he began chipping away at the block of stone. He noticed that some parts of the stone broke off easily with a gentle tap. Other parts, those in which the deepest flaws ran, required much firmer, stronger strikes of the chisel, before the imperfections broke away. Some parts of the stone required a significant amount to be cut away. This was done by tapping a groove into the stone, followed by a hard hit in the centre of the groove to crack and break the stone. It was most satisfying to the sculptor as the unwanted stone was discarded. For with each careful incision, the stone block increasingly took on the image the sculptor wanted to see.

Finally the sculptor rested from his work. The block of stone was now ready. He carefully carried it to where he had placed the other specially chosen stone blocks, now also completed. But the sculptor now focused his attention on one particular stone, which had lain there from the beginning. The townspeople had all walked past it at some point. Knowing little about stone, and not caring to find out, they just saw it as any other block of stone, and sometimes stumbled over it as they walked on by, cursing the sculptor for leaving it lying around. But the sculptor could see in this stone what no-one else could see. It had required no work, for it was flawless. It was the purest stone there had ever been, exceptional in its quality, beyond compare. The sculptor knew exactly where to lay this stone. It was the chief cornerstone, thus all the other stones would be set in reference to this beautiful stone. The sculptor carefully fixed into place all the stones he had worked with around the chief cornerstone. Finally he stepped back and examined his work. He was pleased. It looked exactly as he had seen.

The townspeople came out to look. A gasp went up from the onlookers. For they could now see what the sculptor had seen all along. Stones which had lain abandoned and useless, fit for no good purpose, had been transformed under the care of the sculptor. Stones which individually had not seemed to possess much beauty now formed part of the most beautiful building they had ever seen. The stone blocks were decorated with precious stones - jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, carnelian, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, and amethyst. Whichever angle anyone looked at the building from, the stone blocks had been arranged in such a way that the eyes were always drawn towards the chief cornerstone. And what had caused the crowd to gasp was the fact that as they admired this beautiful building, whether it was the way the sunlight was shining or not they couldn’t tell, but light was emanating from the chief cornerstone which caused the whole structure to dazzle in a brilliant light.

The crowd fell to their knees in awe and sang out their praises to the master sculptor.


“As you come to him, the living Stone— rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him, you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone”, and,” A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message— which is also what they were destined for. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:4-10)


  1. Beautiful illustration Diana!
    Praise God that "we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
    May we always gaze in awe at our Chief Cornerstone!

    Love and blessings today sister!

  2. Bless God, Diana!

    Your reflections always encourage my soul!

    "Stones which had lain abandoned and useless, fit for no good purpose, had been transformed under the care of the sculptor. Stones which individually had not seemed to possess much beauty now formed part of the most beautiful building they had ever seen."

    Allelujia! Isn't this why we praise Him? Once we had NOT received mercy but now we have!

    Thank you for such a beautiful post today!

    Love you dearly!

  3. Beautiful story! Alleluia! the Sculptor could see and does see, and that should give me great joy and faith even if I can't see much more than flawed misshapen blocks. I can pray and trust The sculptor! He sees and He knows, and His arm is never too short! Blessings!