A while ago, I heard about an extensive cleaning and restoration project being done on a famous chapel. The frescoes were caked with centuries of dirt, soot and other foreign matter. Artisans painstakingly removed layer upon layer of grime in search of the original masterpiece.
Before half the work was completed, a minor controversy ensued. The artist’s original hues were far more colorful than anyone had expected. They radiated with dazzling brilliance but the world had grown accustomed to the dark, murky forms that had been in the chapel for so long. The cleaned portions appeared quite garish by comparison.
These half-bright, half-dark images became a strange paradox. The process turned into a troubling dilemma. Should they complete the restoration, or should they cancel the work and return it to the way everyone was used to seeing it?
Many of us can relate to this quandary in our own lives. As we transform and notice the bright new colors and dazzling brilliance appearing, does it frighten us? Not only have we grown familiar and comfortable with the dark, murky forms that have become a part of us — it may also have to others.
Perhaps we don’t know what terrifies us more — keeping the layer of build-up that has accumulated or restoring ourselves to the original work of art. Today, we can make that choice to move towards our intended masterpiece and reveal the extraordinary colors …one layer at a time.