Maybe you heard the story about the painting that was found under a couch recently in a Montecito, California, home. Christina Jones Janssen had a rare masterpiece from the 18th century neatly rolled up and preserved extremely well. And it was stashed away under her couch.
It was a lost piece of art from Miguel Cabrera and the sixth of sixteen casta paintings he created. Casta paintings were a controversial form of art invented in Mexico exploring the Enlightenment Age theme of interracial marriage among Indians, Spaniards and Africans. Cabrera painted only one set and Janssen had one tucked under her couch.
The painting is well traveled, having gone back and forth across the Atlantic over the course of 250 years and 12,000 miles. Because of its rarity the painting would be expected to bring at least $1 million at auction.
And this was under a couch in someone’s house.
You may have a treasure too. Jesus told a story about a Master who gave three servants some talents (a measure of money in that day and age). He gave one five, one two, and one only one. The main point of the story is that he wanted them to use their talents and increase them. The guy who only got one talent just buried his and didn’t do anything with it. He put it under his couch and just let it be stored there.
Paul talked a lot about “gifts” that God has given those who are part of the church—the body of Christ. He says that to each one is given something from the Spirit. Not all have the same gift. But everyone has a gift. And he wants you to know what it is and use it to help others.
If you are a believer in Christ then you have a gift. But maybe it has been sitting dormant because you did not realize you had one. It’s been stashed under the couch of your “unknowing.” You need to pull it out, see what it is, and use it.
Here’s how you can do just that.
- Read over the possibilities of what could be “missing.” Look at Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. Then Ephesians 4 and 1 Peter 4. Get an idea for what can be.
- Then make a list of the ones that sound like you and seem like a fit.
- Start using your gift. Give it some time and see if there is any “increase” when you use it. Is someone helped? Served? Encouraged? Taught? The list could go on. If what you are doing is making a difference then you have found your piece of art.
- Finally, the best way to know you have found your gift is when you bring it out for others to see and they stand back, look at it, and tell you what it is they see in you.
You are a canvas on which God has painted a masterpiece. Check under your couch and see what you may have been missing.
Question: What masterpiece has God painted on the canvas of you?