Someone save me. I am lost, I am wretched and blind. The light is gone, the night is all around me. I can’t see, I can’t feel. Every day I live I sink deeper into the pit, darker and darker it grows. My soul has grown cold; I can’t feel. Someone save me.
Have you ever heard of “The Picture of Dorian Gray”? It’s a book written by Oscar Wilde. In fact, it is the only novel ever written by Wilde, and is a beautiful philosophical exposé on the depravity of man.
The subject, Dorian, is the topic of a portrait that immortalizes his beauty. Dorian is then introduced into the “eat, drink, and be merry” society and, wishing to stay young forever, sells his soul. The deal he made was such that the painting of him would age rather than himself; and it did, collecting the scars and hideous representations of every sin he committed.
Dorian was intrigued by the fact that his picture changed with the deeds he did, and therefore experienced every indulgence and pleasure, experimenting to see how the portrait would change based upon his actions. Eventually, the portrait becomes so hideous with his accumulated sins that he cannot bear to look upon it. He tries to absolve them and fix his picture by doing goodness, but it is all vanity and only worsens his painted image.
Unable to bear it any longer, he attempts to destroy the image by stabbing it in the heart. With this action the roles reverse, the painting is once again of the beautiful young man, and the young man is now an old, hideous, disfigured man, stabbed in the heart with a knife.
Gorgeous story, and one of my all-time favorite tales because it rings so true. I don’t want to be the man that my deeds would make me. I don’t want to look like what I do; and thank God I don’t have to. The painting of Jared Allen would be a hideous sight to behold were it not for the masterful restoration of my God.
I’m a mess, plain and simple. Nothing more, nothing less. Just a great big, human mess. Without God, I couldn’t live with myself. Without God I could not look upon the portrait of my life. What does the portrait of your life look like? Is it a terrifying image of all your wrongs? Or have you handed it over to the master Artist who sees the beauty in the original image and not what that image has become?
As always, thanks for reading.
—the anonymous novelist