We’re Just Like Michelangelo

Before the victory
We should be like David

You are like Michelangelo.

And my husband has the traits of Michelangelo’s famous sculpture, David.

We had finally made it to Florence, and Neil had orders. We would not leave Italy until we’d seen Michelangelo’s David. I’d seen the Pieta, and thought seeing it again, although desired, would not thrill me like David.

Indeed, the David is superb. Created from a block of marble other sculptor’s had rejected as too flawed, the twenty-six year old sculptor took on the commission with gusto. No one expected anything revolutionary from the tired subject of David and Goliath. Artistic greats like Donatello and Ghiberti  created their Davids after the battle. Michelangelo sculpted him prior. He’s relaxed, but alert, his slingshot barely discernible. This fact showed David’s victory was more from cleverness than force.

Michelangelo worked in secrecy in a courtyard, exposed to the elements–rain, heat, cold. For two years he labored, skipped meals and sleep. The end result was too monumental to be used in the setting the commissioners had wanted, the Duomo.

If you’d ever seen the Duomo, you’d be amazed to know this sculpture was too grand to be placed high on a pedestal in the beautiful cathedral. They convened a committee of thirty artists and dignitaries, among the Leonardo da Vinci. They decided to place the monument in the political heart of Florence, the Piazza della Signoria.

the David was too exquisite for the Duomo

Lessons from the marble

  • It was flawed and rejected
  • In the master’s hand, it became one of the greatest masterpieces
  • God’s given us victory–relax. Enjoy the ride.
Lessons from Michelangelo

Having a modicum of artistic talent, I could never create anything close to the the magnificence of David. God did not give me the gift.

Even Michelangelo could not have created it himself without the effort, the work, the practice, the experimenting he did.

God, truly, had given him a gift. As a baby, he never asked to be the greatest sculptor ever. It was freely given.

So, we now come to my opening comments–how is Neil like David? How should we be like this statue?

My husband is relaxed. He doesn’t worry about the battle, but he doesn’t ignore it, either. He’s prepared, attentive and gets the victory. We know the battle is God’s. Why worry?

How are you like Michelangelo?

Salvation is a gift–given freely. Nothing we do can alter the fact that God has freely given us our grace. However, if we do not use the gift of God. If we do not work out our salvation, or recognize that faith without works does nothing, we have wasted our lives.

How else are you like Michelangelo or his masterpiece David?

Notice the ribs and the veins.
Michelangelo’s detail is exquisite.

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  1. Indeed, Sherry, you said it better than I. God removes the excess from flawed marble and look at us! So much better than when we started.

  2. I love this, Carol! I read once in a biography on Michelangelo that, when he looked at a block of stone, he saw the form waiting to be revealed. When God looks at us, He sees us, not as we are but as the finished person. His work is beautiful and sometimes painful as He labors to reveal the "real" me to the world.

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