life of David, I thought it would be appropriate to share the following story as related by Sam Whatley on pages 17-18 in
his book, Pondering the Journey (True Life Publishers, 2002).
In 1463, members of the City Council of Firenze (Florence) Italy decided they needed a monument to enhance their city. They commissioned a sculptor to carve a giant statue to stand in front of city hall. Someone suggested a biblical character wrought in the neoclassical style, an expression of beauty and strength.
They approached Agostino di Duccio, who agreed to their terms. Duccio went to the quarry near Carrara and marked off a 19-foot slab to be cut from the white marble. However, he had the slab cut too thin. When the block was removed, it fell, leaving a deep fracture down one side. The sculptor declared the stone useless and demanded another, but the city council refused. Consequently, the gleaming block of marble lay on its side for the next 38 years, a source of embarrassment for all concerned.
Then, in 1501, the council approached another citizen, the son of a local official, asking him if he would complete the ambitious project, using the broken slab. Fortunately for them, the young man was Michelangelo Buonarroti. He was 26 years old, filled with energy, skill, and imagination. Michelangelo locked himself inside the workshop behind the cathedral to chisel and polish away on the stone for three years. When the work was finished, it took 49 men five days to bring it to rest before the city hall. Archways were torn down. Narrow streets were widened. The people from across Europe came to see the 14-foot statue of David relaxing after defeating Goliath. It was even more than the city fathers had envisioned. The giant stone had been transformed from the massive fractured waste of rock to a masterpiece surpassing the art of either Greece or Rome.
If ever any life demonstrates for us the truth of this story, it is that of the Biblical King David. He could be on the mountain top one day and in the valley the next. He could have a heart for God one moment and a heart for Bathsheba the next. He can make those of us who read his story so proud of him one instant, and then so disappointed with him the next.
As such, David represents me in all my good traits and in all of my bad traits. I see so much of myself in him. And yet, despite his many flaws (pride, envy, covetousness, etc…), God was still able to transform him and use him in such wonderful ways. That gives me hope. And encouragement. And confidence. It probably does the same for you as well. Thank God, He both can and does use us in spite of our shortcomings.