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Warm weather may have revealed Michelangelo’s fingerprint in London

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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Michelangelo’s fingerprint may have been discovered on a wax figure. The five-hundred-year-old sculpture was reportedly created by the great artist as a study for a larger sculpture he planned for St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

The larger sculpture was never completed, however, and the model belongs to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. It had been on display, but curators moved it from an upper-level gallery during unusually warm weather in spring 2020 to a cooler storage area when the museum temporarily closed during the coronavirus pandemic. Five months later, curators checking on the figurine in storage noticed a never-before-seen fingerprint or thumbprint on the sculpture. 

Scholars say that the changing temperatures and humidity levels may have modified the figurine’s wax composition, making the print more apparent. “It is an exciting prospect that one of Michelangelo’s prints could have survived in the wax,” according to a senior curator. 

Do you see God’s fingerprints on your life?

Consider two biblical responses. 

One: The fingerprints of our Creator are visible throughout his creation. 

David testified, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). Paul noted that God’s “invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:20). 

I have met scientists and others who were brought to faith in Christ primarily by the wonder and design of the universe he made. Some of my most meaningful and transformative experiences with the Lord have taken place when I was alone with him in nature. 

Just as we can learn much about an artist by examining her painting and a writer by reading his books, it stands to reason that we should expect to meet God in the world he created. 

Two: Challenges often reveal the presence of God. 

As we noted, the fingerprint that may have been left by Michelangelo may have been made more visible by the changing temperatures and humidity and by changes in location brought about by the pandemic. If so, we see illustrated the fact that we often find God in his world when our circumstances cause us to seek him with passion and urgency. 

As a fallen human being, my default position is to be on the throne of my own life, to make God a means to my end. But when the crisis comes, I discover that I need more of God than I am experiencing. I am motivated to dethrone myself and enthrone the true King. I am drawn to the One who is “our refuge and strength” but whose refuge is only effective for those who trust it (Psalm 46:1). 

Even on the hardest days, we can claim the psalmist’s prayer as our experience: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3). And we can claim the apostle’s confidence as ours: “This light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). 

How to know that God’s face is turned toward you

A mother died, and the night after her funeral was hard for her husband and their small son. They decided they would sleep together in his bed to pass the nighttime hours. After laying side by side for a while, the boy asked his father, “Is your face turned toward me? I think I can sleep if your face is turned toward me.” 

The father assured his son that he was looking at him in the dark, and, before long, his son drifted off to sleep. 

Later that night, the father got out of bed, went to the window, looked up at the nighttime sky, and asked, “God, is your face turned toward me?” 

All the promises of Scripture assure us that he is. 

In fact, all of God there is, is in this moment. 

Why is this fact relevant to your life and faith today?