Some time ago I did a painting. It was a simple painting of a cross but it was the background that made it a very dramatic picture.  Later I saw, in my minds eye, my painting but it was carved in wood.  I eventually found someone who would sell me a small piece of hardwood.  I say small, it was 22 inches tall 9 inches wide and 3 inches thick, not something you would carry around with you.  I sat and looked at that great lump of rough wood and I could see the cross inside it but I then had the job of bringing it out.  Friends asked me if I had ever done any woodcarving before and I had to admit the most I had ever done was sharpen a pencil.  But as I looked at this lump of rough wood I thought ‘aren’t we all sculptors or artists of sorts?’ particularly if we are parents.  We are given this rough lump of human being and we have to ‘see’ that loving caring person inside and somehow bring it out.  We have the job of trying to shape it and smooth off some of the rough edges.  I know it takes a certain amount of skill to carve wood but mainly it’s patience and love and a vision of what it CAN look like.  And it’s just the same with people, whether they are friends or family, it takes patience and love to bring out the person we know is inside.  As in my painting we can be the background which makes that person shine, to stand out, to be something that people will look at and admire.  When I hear of people who have brought up a handful of healthy happy children or ones who have helped innumerable people and they say ‘I’m no good at anything’ I smile inwardly and think ‘Michael Angelo would have been proud of you’