Thomas Quasthoff – Work of Art

Thomas Quasthoff singing Ständchen, by Franz Schubert.

For any who do not know Thomas Quasthoff, he is a world renowned bass-baritone … he also was born with serious birth defects due to his mother’s exposure to the drug Thalidomide while pregnant with him.  The world would look at Thomas Quasthoff and pre-judge him immediately … much in the way the judges did on Britain’s Got Talent with Susan Boyle, but then were wowed by her gift.

The fact of the matter is that if Quasthoff were, say, 5’11” with different facial features … he would not have the same voice, the same sound, it would be different.  The bone structure in his facial mask gives him his own particular resonance, the lung capacity and musculature in his body … these things are a part of a world class instrument.  Who he is, the gift that he has to give, is his and only his … because of the unique work of art that God made him to be.

In meditating on my post yesterday, “No one in the world was ever you before“, I found myself struggling to have the breakthrough that I knew was there.  I was tripped up because I allowed myself to become focused on my own flaws.  Because society has looked at one flaw in particular and deemed it an oddity, I sometimes think that it is something that must be “cured”.  So I spent time trying to “give” this to God, somewhat naively thinking that God wanted to cure me of it.  I ended up being somewhat frustrated because the breakthrough I was looking for eluded me.

Over the night, with dreams and half-awake meditations, I was able to see that what might seem negative or odd to other people is one of the things that makes me truly unique (in meditating on my prior post “Free the Figures Slumbering“).  For my entire life, I have always sought out the company of my elders … even as a child.  I prefer the company of those people twenty, thirty, even forty years my senior to those people who are my own age or younger … this also happens to be true of people that I have had romantic relationships with as well.  When I was in college, I was more likely to befriend my professors than other students.  I do have many friends who are my age and younger, but my closest friends tend to be older.

When I look at my life in retrospect though, I can see the blessings that have come from this as well.  My friend who got me into the world of classical music was in his eighties, my friend who opened up my mind to meditation was in her mid-fifties, my friend who encouraged me to study in Europe was in her sixties, and more recently my friend who keyed off life-changing spiritual breakthroughs for me is in his sixties.

These things wouldn’t have happened if I was anyone other than who I am.  I would not be in the place that I am in life, or in my relationship with God, if not for this feature that I have been told was some sort of psychological anomaly, or problem, by different people at different points in my life.  I am closer in my relationship with God than I have ever been in my life, and I wouldn’t change that for the world … why then would I change something so much a part of me, just because the world around sees a defect?

I realized that I was mistaken in thinking that by “giving” this to God yesterday, that God would change it or take it away.  I have given myself to God, and God may decide to do anything with me, or to NOT do anything with me, in this regard.  God thinks I am beautiful just the way that I am … God loves me just the way that I am … and God wants to use me as the being who has the gifts that I uniquely have.

I even found that I was loathe to share this about myself, because I didn’t want to be judged for something that has become sensitive to me over the course of my life.  That too was a mistake.  We each are our own unique work of art … the things that we (or others) see as flaws, God sees as opportunities to form us and use us in ways that NOBODY else in the world can be used.  The living statue that is me, being hewn from the proverbial marble, is a work of art to God … and I will cherish that.

Spend time getting to know yourself, flaws and all … give them to God.  If God changes them into something else, then celebrate whatever God does … don’t be surprised though if the thing that you are ashamed of is simply left the way that it is … because God sees a beauty in it that eludes the limited mind of those around you.  When you own that beauty … then you can begin crafting the work of art that God intends for you to create with your life.

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach


  Ayanna Nahmias wrote @

Incredible! Went to YouTube and watch videos of his other performances. Truly remarkable! God is not limited by what vessel He chooses to use, nor in how He uses it.

It is people who more often than not judge the outside versus recognizing that we are each other and but for the Grace of God we could be given an outward challenge to contend with versus the secret challenges which most hide within.

Thanks for sharing. ~ Ayanna Nahmias

  Religion4All wrote @

Thank you, Ayanna … you are SO right. We are blessed to have an amazing God who sees the beauty in all of us … the ultimate Artist in love creation.

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