For her it began in a warehouse; just a rough cut of stone alongside hundreds of other potential projects. Yet despite the bleak appearance of her surroundings, the Sculptor’s storehouse was an intriguing place to be. The atmosphere was vibrant and the rows of waiting bedrock were often bursting with tales of the Master’s renown from all corners of the world. Sharing stories of His demand among the elite art collectors and the ever growing value of each of His original pieces. His talent had become legendary and the wait list for His work continued to grow. Each unfinished slab waited in anticipation of the day they would be chosen and of what the Artist would render them to be.
It was common knowledge that His work was always commissioned. No project was ever started before a destination had been secured. So there was never any fear that he would start something and abandon it; each time He picked up His tools there was someone waiting for the piece to be completed. He drew inspiration from the uniqueness of each rock and never missed the potential hidden beneath. The full dimensional figure went straight from the Creator’s mind to the stone itself.
In every direction she was surrounded by so many beautiful and precious rocks. There were cuts of soapstone and alabaster, a softer stone prized for its translucency and manageability. Limestone and sandstone which were excellent for carving; and even more precious stones such as marble, travertine, and onyx. Each highly coveted mediums due to their beauty and the vast array of colours they possessed.
She was none of those, but rather a grey granite with ribbons of white throughout. Nothing that stood out among the rows of other rock and something she had rarely come across during her time in the storehouse. And though being the most durable of all the sculpting stones correspondingly it was also the most difficult to work with. This knowledge sometimes stung, but she stubbornly held to the fact that the Master knew all of this and had bought her anyways.
When the time finally came for her metamorphosis the rumours had reached her long before the Sculptor arrived. Though she tried to keep calm she was filled with excitement and pride unable to envision what she was stepping into. Every story she had ever heard of this artist tumbled around her head as she was moved to the workshop. He was kind and gentle and yet His presence commanded such respect and admiration. As He gazed upon her rough edges and shapeless form she felt a moment of shame for being so imperfect. But The Master’s look was filled with such a powerful confidence she was enveloped by it.
He picked up his chisel and mallet and began pitching pieces off her figure. It was startling at first as she saw large masses fall to the ground and smash into tiny fragments. Some were ones that she had imagined might be the best parts for the Master to use and gave her doubt that He would find what He was looking for underneath it all. She was quiet as she watched and waited for the Sculptor to finish the roughing in. When the first step was done she felt raw and exposed. But she reminded herself that even though for her this was all new He had done this many times. Not only was He the expert He was making her special for someone.
The hours in the Master’s shop accumulated into days and she marvelled as He slowly brought shape to her form. His work was resolute and faithful. He never had a moment of hesitation or uncertainty. While He worked she would daydream of her future and the one who was patiently waiting for Him to finish. She wondered if their excitement matched hers. If they had ambitions and hopes of the future as well.
Somehow even though The Sculptor’s tools never touched inside the rock she was changed there too. Peace and Joy filled her and at the end of every day she was overwhelmed with the hope and assurance in each new change. Now not only was her external form new, but her soul had begun to take on the heart of her Sculptor.
The day finally came when the Master was content for His statue to be placed with the intended recipient. She was nervous and in many ways still felt inadequate and unfinished. But she had learned to trust Him.
The feelings of anxiety soon faded as her new home became her sanctuary. She was deeply loved and cherished. Every part of her was displayed proudly and she continued to feel confident in the skill of her sculptor. The Master came to visit at her new home and sometimes he would bring His tools. Whenever He would leave she could see that His talent was second to none and she was proud of the work that He had done in her. Sometimes His visits would be farther apart but it seemed that no matter when they asked He had time to come. It was impossible not to see how perfectly the one whom she had been made for fit her. Never had she felt so whole. She was content. They were content. And the foreshadowing of the durability and difficulty of her granite left.
But eventually the devastation came. The earthquake shook her home and broke the walls. The floods came and washed everything away. And fire burned anything that had survived until all life was turned to ash.
When it was over she looked around to see she was alone and the landscape was desolate. She was left with nothing and the one who had cherished her was not around to protect her anymore. When she looked down she was ashamed at what the storm had done to her. Broken and black from the fire she could see she was not useful for much. Instinctively she wanted to call for the Master, but she was afraid that He would no longer have a use for her. She was disfigured and the one whom she had been made for was gone.
So she picked herself up and tried to fix what she could; relying on her resolve she kept moving forward. The strength of her exterior served her well but she was covered with scars and deep cracks. She tried to remember how the Master had worked doing her best to repair His damaged work. Sometimes her repairs lasted for a while but they could never hold up for long. She found it was easier to just hide the brokenness. Many days she came so close to asking the Master for help, but then shame and fear would drive her away.
In a moment of desperation she cried out to Him and in an instant He was there. No tools just His steady arms reaching out and His eyes saying ‘come as you are.’ Though hesitant, she came with her head hanging low. Knowing she did not deserve His grace and fearful of what the future would hold for her now. The half she had fit so well was gone and she had come to realize she could never make it on her own.
He took her back to the workshop and stripped away all that she had used to cover the damaged parts. He looked at her as if she was ready for the first time, and then He brought out the finishing tools.
In His gentleness he began refining her. With His broad sweeping stokes that which had been defeated began to transform into the tiniest of details and come to life at His touch. Hidden underneath her grey exterior, ripples of the most delicate pink granite came through. The patterns swirled throughout her form and as he began to polish her they shone as beautiful marks of what she had survived. Never had she experienced such love. Never had she felt so exquisite.
Amidst all the emotions engulfing her in that moment she felt confusion. Being unable to comprehend why this world renowned sculptor would take the time to make her beautiful again when there were so many new pieces to work on and no one left to appreciate any labour wasted on her.
His gaze rested on her and in His eyes she could see that He knew the depths of her thoughts. He reached out to wipe the tears from her cheeks and said, “My dear creation I only do guaranteed work, in that you are right, but it has always been that I commissioned you for me.”