Michelangelo was just 26 years old in 1501 when he began work on what has been called the most famous statue in Florence and possibly the world. Michelangelo’s David stands 14’ (4.25 meters) tall of gleaming white marble. a curly-haired, contemplative male nude of perfect proportion. A close look reveals a slingshot draped over his left shoulder. The entire work is made from a single block of once rejected white marble.
For three years Michelangelo toiled, keeping his project as secret as possible for the final unveiling. It is said that when Michelangelo looked at the huge block he did not see a huge block of flawed marble. Michelangelo saw David within the block. To free him, he chipped away everything that wasn’t David.
I suppose that, if the block of marble could feel, it would suffer pain by the chiseling. It would yearn for the broken bits that lay upon the workshop floor. At times huge slabs would be removed, diminishing its totality ever more, and ever more… but the chiseling was relentless! Did not the sculptor care? Was the sculptor cruel? Already outcast and lain dormant and now to be chipped at… again, and again, and again, shrinking more and more and more…
From prison, Paul toiled in letters and in prayers for the churches of God. In his letter to the Galatians he described it as toiling “until Christ is formed in you” (Gal. 4:19). In his letter to the Colossians he spoke of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). Perhaps we are more like that slab of marble than we realize. If so, then we are becoming more like that superb creation also!
Remember our point from yesterday, “God appoints hardship so that He can redeem it for His glory.”
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Cor. 4:16-18)
Michelangelo’s David currently stands upon a base making the entire piece a giant 17′ (5.17 meters) in height, situated beneath a specially designed skylight in the Accademia Gallery museum in Florence, Italy. Thousands flock to see it annually. It is a thing of beauty.
Be patient… awaiting the day of your unveiling.
Enjoy a virtual guided tour of Michelangelo’s David here.