I called him ‘the bone daddy’ after Jack Skellington form The Nightmare Before Christmas and he is one of my most prized pieces of artwork to date. I spent weeks working on him in an advanced drawing class and combined multiple mediums for the first time – before this, I never thought about adding paint to my drawings. But as time has gone on, my favorite part about him is that, as complete as he looks in my portrait, he’s actually a mess.
He’s missing the lower half of his right arm, his entire left arm is gone, so is half of one of his legs, and the other foot as well. A couple of his not-pictured ribs are cracked or missing, and to be totally honest, I drew him with all of his teeth, but they weren’t really all there. And for crying out loud, he’s a Skelton. A symbol of death.
But he’s beautiful to me.
I found him in a storage closet, saw this useless, discarded science class prop, and thought “he’s perfect. I’m drawing THIS.” I gave his drawing my all, and not that he has feelings (he was made of plastic after all) and 10 years later, it’s still one of the things I’m most proud of as an artist. I composed his portrait as if he was flawless and perfect, only seeing his wholeness instead of what was lost or missing or broken with a great deal of intention.
What I didn’t know then was how profound that idea was…
Even when we are broken, lost, and missing entire parts of our beings, we are still seen this way by Jesus: beautiful, whole, enough, perfect.
He makes beautiful things out of us.
Even when we’re dead and dying spiritually, emotionally, or physically, He breathes His breath of life into us, telling our dry bones to rise. To dance. To sing. ‘Dry bones stand up, and get up, and live.’
I’m grateful for the grace that allows that to be true. I’m grateful I created this reminder for myself. And I’m grateful to have it here where my spiritual worship meets my physical, where I come to meet with Jesus and learn from Him and His word. I’ll just let that be my heart’s song today, and sing it over these dry bones.