On Saturday we finished working on the icon of St. Elias. The last step of writing an icon is placing the white line on the halo. We call it the omega line. This last step is always stressful for me as I worry that the compass will leave a hole right in the middle of the face of the icon. I approached this step on Saturday with some stress. I placed the compass on the board and took a deep breath. As I placed the compass, it slipped and left a nice gash across Elijah’s face.
When your icon has a gash on the face, it necessitates mixing paint that will match the face color of the icon. I did this, and repaired the face, but the reality is that there will always be a gash on the face.
Our lives as Christians are similar. We make mistakes. They leave marks on our lives. They can be covered and our lives can be made whole again. That being said, those marks leave an impression on our lives that cannot be erased. My own experience tells me that this is a good thing. It fosters humility. It reminds us of the need to rely upon God rather than ourselves. The fact that God can make these mistakes into something good also shows us how powerful his love is for us.
Writing this reflection makes me happy to have made this mistake. God tends to use our mistakes much more effectively to teach us the things he wants. I am very happy that he does.