The Angel Inside: Michelangelo, Il Gigante, and Creating a Life of Power and Beauty by Chris Widener

The following is an excerpt from The Angel Inside
The Whole book can be found at

“Let us start with a story.” The old man began as he and Tom sat, looking at the David. “One day, Michelangelo was working on this marble that would become David and a young child came by where he was working. The young boy asked Michelangelo why he was working so hard hitting the rock. Michelangelo said to him, ‘Young boy, there is an angel inside of this rock and I am setting him free.’” He let the story sink in. “Do you see the point of that story, Thomas?”

Tom looked at the David and thought. After running the possibilities through his mind he said, “I would guess that he meant that he was trying to make something beautiful out of the marble.”

“You are on the right track Thomas. But there is more.”

“How so?”

“Let me explain. In essence, you are correct. But there is more to it than meets the eye. Things specific to you; things that will mean something for you – for everyone really.”

“I’m all ears.”

“Thomas, what do those who are closest to you think of you?”

“I think they like me.” He then corrected himself. “They love me. But…” Tom drifted off and looked away.

“Yes?” The old man probed.

“They don’t think much of what I have done with my life, or what I’m doing, or for that matter, what I’m capable of. They think of me as your basic loser, I guess.”

“Hmmm. That must be painful, yes?”

“Yes.” It was quiet. Tom hadn’t expected to get psychoanalyzed.

“Let me give you the history of that big piece of marble. That marble was originally cut for work before Michelangelo was even born. In fact, it was commissioned to Agostino di Duccio in 1464 – Eleven years before Michelangelo would come into this world. But eventually Agostino could not decide what to do with it, so he gave up the commission. Then, in 1476, when Michelangelo was just one year old, another artist by the name of Antonio Rossellino was commissioned to work with the marble and as with Agostino, he could not see what the marble could become. Even Leonardo da Vinci was asked to consider working the marble. He declined for two reasons: First, he thought sculpting was a low form of art. He was arrogant that way. Brilliant but arrogant.” The old man rolled his eyes as if disgusted. “Second, he too could not see what that marble could become. Three artists – one of them one of the most famous ever – came before Michelangelo and could not see what that marble held deep inside. But Michelangelo, he saw the angel deep at rest within the rock, waiting to be set free to inspire Florence – and the world.

“Thomas, do you see what I am trying to teach you?”

“Sort of. Tell me more and I’ll get it.” Now Tom was leaning toward the statue, elbows on his knees, his chin in his hands.

“Thomas, there is an angel inside of you. There is a person of beauty. There is a person of power. David represented both. If you remember, the real David – the one-time King of Israel – was a very diverse fellow. Not many men have interests that broadly range from writing poetry and playing the harp to slaying giants and going to war. David, both the statue and the man, was both beautiful and powerful. There is a lesson there for all humans. We all have a beauty to us. We are valuable just for who we are. But we are also capable of tremendous power. We can become people of great accomplishment. We can face the giants in our lives, even as David did and win.” The old man looked at Tom to see if he was getting it. He was.

“Keep going,” Tom said.

“Think of the rejection of that marble. David lay there since the beginning of time. Many people looked at it and saw nothing. Nothing. No potential. ‘The marble was cut too thin,’ many people said. But Michelangelo had the vision for what it could become.” The old man began to turn the corner on the idea. “Do you know much about the story of the real David, Thomas?”

“Less than I know about Michelangelo.” Tom grinned.

“This is okay. You will learn today – and it will change your life forever. There was a prophet named Samuel. God Himself told Samuel that he would find the next King in the home of a man named Jesse. So Samuel went to Jesse and told him this. Then he asked Jesse to allow him to see his sons. Jesse promptly called them together and lined them up. One by one Samuel went down the line disqualifying each son. When he got to the end he was a touch confused. He asked if there were any other sons. Jesse said there was one other, but it couldn’t possibly be him. He was a shepherd, a tender of sheep. Samuel asked Jesse for his name. Jesse’s answer: David. Jesse sent for David and he was brought before Samuel. Samuel knew immediately that this was the next King. Jesse couldn’t believe it – and his brothers didn’t want to.

“To explain this to Jesse, Samuel spoke a profound truth, ‘Man looks on the outside, but God, He looks on the inside.’”

“Wow,” was all Tom could say.

“Yes, this is incredible Thomas. This is the first truth that you must realize in becoming the person you desire to become. No matter what is on the outside, no matter what your life looks like now, there is an angel that lays dormant within you. Every person has this tremendous capacity to be both a warrior and a king, a person of value and a person of accomplishment – of beauty and power. When you understand this, when you embrace it and come to truly believe it, it will change your life forever. Your entire destiny will open before you.”

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Author's Bio: 

Chris Widener is a popular author and speaker as well as the President of Made for Success -