Now that the title has turned you off, let me try to turn you back on. Come with me to an art 
gallery. I’m looking at great paintings—Rembrandt, Renoir, Cezanne, Giotto. One of them catches my eye—Constable’s Hay Wain, a pastoral scene that takes me back to my roots in Sussex County, New Jersey. (Note to self: Post a blog on those Good Old Days.)
Imagine with me that I’m painting that masterpiece. Art does run in my family, y’know, both fore and aft. As I paint, though, I notice mistakes that keep cropping up. I have to scrape off a section and redo it. What I thought would look good doesn’t. My current mood—thunderstormish—works against the light and life in my painting. No matter how hard I try, I cannot control the imponderables that reside within me.
Now come with me to a worship service, singing and praising God along with the company of saints. I can’t report on the mind of the company, but my brain continually mucks up my “painting.” Notice, God, that I’m praying the Lord’s Prayer, not just saying it. I’m harmonizing this song so cleverly; is the person next to me noticing? I’m being so holy; is God noticing? Almost every “good” thought has its cluster of fruit flies.
God, though, is painting his masterpiece, and the brush in his hand is working our flaws, our “mistakes,” into a thing of beauty. Will we even be able to recognize each other when we’re finally shining in the light of his glory?
One of the online definitions of Original Sin is “the state of sin that . . . characterizes all human beings as a result of Adam’s fall.” This basically means that everything we do—even our good works—is tainted with sin. Yes, Jesus’ death on the cross did cancel our huge debt, but until our mortal bodies are released from earthly life, sin will continue to ravage our thoughts.
Lord, every day sin stalks me, and my “paint” of choice needs to be tears of repentance. One day, though, those tears will be wiped away, and the true masterpiece of grace will shine forth for all to see.