Few if any of you will ever know what it feels like to be Chuck Close.
A lot of you might not even know who he is.
But all of us have something monumentally important to learn from him.
Chuck Close is one of the greatest portrait artists of our time. If you glanced at his work, you would think you were simply looking at a photograph. In reality, you’re looking at paint. Sometimes pencil. Other times, thread. That’s just how brilliant he is.
But if you knew his backstory, you wouldn’t think it would be possible.
Close can’t remember a single face that he meets. He suffers from prosopagnosia, a condition that leaves him unable to recognize faces. He can create a masterpiece with your face, but he can’t remember it.
You would think that for a person in Close’s situation, creating portraits would be the last thing he’d be doing. After all, faces are his greatest weakness. But it’s just the opposite. It motivates him, even to the point of him saying, “everything in my art is driven by my disability.”
And that’s what makes his work that much more brilliant. It shouldn’t be coming out of him. But it is. His greatest weakness has become the source of his greatest strength. It’s provided a platform where his greatness can be amplified.
Few if any of us will ever have a condition like Close’s.
But we all deal with weakness in one shape or form.
Some of you feel completely inadequate for what God has called you to do.
Some of you feel like your marriage has about a week left before it falls apart.
Some of you have lost your job and you don’t see how you’ll make it.
Some of you are battling cancer and you don’t know how much longer you can fight.
For every person, there is a place in their life where weakness exists. And it’s for that very reason that in every person, a platform exists. An opportunity exists. An opportunity to amplify the greatness of God in a way that your strength alone will never be able to.
Your greatest weakness may actually be God’s greatest platform for showing His power and glory in your life.
Through saving your marriage when all seems lost.
Through using your cancer to shine a spotlight on His sufficiency.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Jesus tells us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
God’s power is the perfect counterpart to your weakness. It’s more than enough for you and it’s completely available to you. God isn’t scouring the universe looking for a perfect person through whom He can display His power and glory. He’s looking for the perfect person. And the perfect person is a person whose weakness provides God and His power with an opportunity to make their life unexplainable.
No matter what you’re going through, no matter how weak you feel right now, there’s no reason that can’t be you.
This entry was originally published on January 25, 2011.