Original Art by Cecilia Marie Pulliam
Jesus said, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11

When I first began art lessons, my dad encouraged me and gave me a challenge with each painting. “That’s good, Sisser, but not as good as Jackson.”

Jackson was a regional artist whose large painting hung in our living room. For years I worked hard to be as good an artist as Jackson. Then one day, I gave my dad a painting of one of his favorite subjects: a ponderosa pine, an old cabin, and mountains draped in snow.

My dad said, “It’s just as good as Jackson’s.”

I was thrilled, I wanted to burst into song and dance.

Then he added, “But not as good as Charles Russell.”

He was right. I was better than some, but not as good as others.

It’s the same for life in general. I am not the least, nor the greatest, but somewhere in between. I prefer sitting a back corner rather than at the head of the table, if possible. I am not exclusively an introvert, but rather a mix with some traits of both and the introvert and the extrovert. I can talk up a storm in a one-on-one conversation, but clam up in large groups.

I don’t want, or seek the limelight, but I don’t want to be ignored either. In other words, I am part of the general populace, neither all good nor all bad, neither extremely talented nor without talent, neither exalted nor cast out.

According to Luke, that’s a good place to be.

I’ll be happy for a backseat in heaven, but would be ecstatic if God nodded in my direction and said, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” 

To that end, I must continue to live and work, without making comparisons, without declaring my unworthiness, without calling out my goodness. I’ll leave that up to God. I just want to get through that gate. 


  1. Cecelia M. ChittendenNovember 1, 2015 at 7:37 AM

    Wonderful work Cecilia my friend! When it came to talent you received the gift in abundance and you are using it so very well. Proud of you!

    1. Thank you, Cecelia for your sweet words. Being called your friend, the sweetest of all.

  2. What a wonderful post! It was well timed with the things happening in my life and gave me peace.

    1. I know I am certainly not alone with these feelings. Glad God is speaking to you too.


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