Lacking One Thing

A young artist had toiled and struggled in his work upon a piece of statuary, until at last the block of marble which held his thoughts imprisoned had given way to the statue of an angel which appeared quite perfect to the beholder. The young artist wished the criticism of those of greater renown than himself, so he sent an invitation to Michael Angelo among others. The young artist had hidden himself behind a screen, and wanted to hear the criticism of his friends without being seen. When Angelo came to look the work over most carefully he was heard to say to one of his friends standing near: “It lacks one thing.” The poor artist was well nigh brokenhearted as he heard this criticism. He hurried away from his studio and refused either to eat or to sleep, and at last one of his friends made his way into Angelo’s presence to ask what it was that the statue lacked. “Man,” said Angelo, “it lacks only life. If it had only life, it would have been perfect as God Himself could have made it.” This is the picture of the man who is without Christ. He has many things to commend himself to the world; his disposition may be good, and his character may be beautiful, but if he lacks eternal life, he lacks everything.

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