paint brushes
Rhonda K. photo

The light seeps in through bits of stain glass windows,

Catching sight of a thousand mismatched colours;

The vibrancy of forgotten tints and shades

Is half-hidden beneath a layer of darkness,

But it glimmers a little here and there:

The purple, blue and yellow hands,

The glittering of emerald and golden eyes;

We are a collection of created beings,

Too overwhelmingly different to be painted in one stroke;

And yet looking at ourselves is frustrating at times:

We squint at the smudged, ugly features –

Like reflections in an imperfect mirror,

We are only dull, fragmented echoes of the divine.

And it’s easy to forget

That your work as Creator is not yet completed.

The brushes are still wet with paint; the easel is still set up.

We want to be ready now. Beautiful now.

We always want it now.

The Painter waits with a sad, patient smile

As we, the unfinished paintings, fidget restlessly.

Some are eager to hurry up the process,

Others are afraid to let the paint soak in – afraid to be fully known.

Stay still, stay still little one. The colours are not yet right.

With each stoke you complete us,

Your brushes transform our shadows into myriad of colours:

Patience, dear one.

For I leave no work unfinished.

~ Ilana Reimer



4 thoughts on “Unfinished

  1. “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”


    “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

    I don’t know if your poem was inspired by these Bible verses or others like them, but I love the way that it summons Scripture in my mind and makes me dwell on those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely…


    1. Ilana Reimer

      I’m so happy you shared these verses! Thanks Jordy. I was inspired by an image C.S. Lewis gave in his book Letters to Malcolm, about us being “unfinished paintings.” But these apply too. :)

      Liked by 1 person

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