Instead of writing something myself this week, I figured it was more fitting to share my husband’s inspiring account of assisting the visual artist Liviu Mocan.
Written by Mat Carson Thursday, 30 May 2013
I recently got to assist acclaimed Romanian sculptor, Liviu Mocan. He had been commissioned to build a sculpture on the campus grounds of an arts and faith conference in Denmark. Experimenting with fresh symbolism for the resurrection hope in Christ, he was creating a wooden ladder, climbing straight up out of a stone.
The poor weather put him behind schedule. So, I was glad to lend a hand in the waning hours of the conference despite the cold and the rain. Others had helped throughout the conference, but this was my chance to help finish the job.
The newness of the experience flooded me with meaning and insight.
The privilege of helping him overrode any discomfort, any distracting sense of self-importance. Instead, filled with joy, I gladly endured the rain, gladly took on the menial jobs of scrounging for tools and running for coffee. Somehow, the small difficulties added value to the experience. I probably would have embraced more ‘suffering’.
Liviu was very grateful, thanking me each time I ran in search of another tool. “Glad to help,” was my standard response. But after the third such exchange, he corrected me: “No. Not help. Part of.” He was right. My help was more than just a supportive after-thought. The opportunity to participate in something larger than I was what attracted me. A good master invites participation. In deed, once the tools were collected he gave me more significant responsibilities.
The morning of the departure he asked me to be outside at 8 AM. I came minutes early to find him already hard at work. He had been there since 5! You can’t outwork a good master. Not only did Liviu care more for his work than I ever could, it was his name on the line. Not fully realizing it at the time, I was freed to do my best without fear of failing because ultimately the work was his responsibility.
That morning, running between the building and the sculpture site, I was struck by the loneliness of this endeavor. Indoors, people were bustling over breakfast, saying farewells, taking pictures, exchanging contact info. Stepping outside, the stark contrast of Liviu labouring alone on the hill-side seemed so poignant. Inside, moments of joy; outside, a monument of joy.
This experience has marked me. The chance to assist a master invigorates me in my service of The Master. Daily, may we embrace whatever He lays before us. To participate in His Story is to overflow with significance, permanence and joy. And may we pursue His work fearlessly, knowing He can never be outworked; that everything after all is His work and for His glory.