I have a macabre fascination with artists who have committed suicide. One, because I love art and the creative process and two, because I have family history of suicides and suicide ideation. In my quest to understand the mind of a person who desires nothing more than to be absent from the present, I have read and reread countless books. Recently, a van Gogh painting was advertised as being on display at the IMA and I knew immediately that I needed to make that a summer destination. This past Saturday my dream came true. I stood before van Gogh’s Landscape at Saint-Remy, 1889, and was blown away by the amount of paint, the number of brush strokes, the myriad of colors and the sheer fortitude he showed in completing a true masterpiece. His painting was by far my favorite of all the works seen, including Gaugahn, Pissarro, Monet and Rembrandt.
“There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”
“What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.”
–Vincent van Gogh
Volunteering at a homeless shelter I come across so many with those same sentiments. There is a little van Gogh in each of us.
My doctor originally told me the biopsy results would take two weeks. I graciously was told a few days ago, that the tissue sample tested, came back benign. How happy I was. Was, until I thought of my blog and how I had told my story and would have to give an ending. I thought of all those who hear they are afflicted with the dreaded “c” disease. It can be ravaging. I did not want my answer to be a curse onto those with different fates. (Do not despair! There is an answer for you as well. Seek it!)
We all face bad news at some point in our life. The answer can be cruel. The answer is a lesson. I feel guilty for being cancer free when others face hurdles I escape. In my past, in the physics department where I worked, a professor and his wife were expecting a baby, as I was. We both went into labor the same day. My baby lived. Their baby was stillborn. My baby was a miracle. Their baby was too, in a different way. It taught a lesson harder to accept. An answer hard to discern.
The bigger questions demand bigger answers.
I am obligated to embrace both.
Are you as confused as me? Can anyone watch the news today and say, glad they sorted out that mess?
Are these days, finally, the end of days? Many have speculated and announced dates, only to see their prophecy vaporize into clouds that hang over their heads.
My daily soapbox: Proverbs 17:15 Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent— the LORD detests them both.
Sound familiar? Yes, the truth has become evil and evil has become truth. Look no further than the evening news. You choose, your pick. Which story comes to mind?
Will anyone be found a believer in the end of days? 2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
One day, the JUDGE will speak, and no one can utter a word! Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. I have seen this in a dream…even in the church, many will burn, searching for relief, and not even the town fountain will put out the flames that torture.
Until then, the show must go on. Christians are asked to forgive those who trespass against them, be disciplined, pray continually, be grateful regardless of surrounding circumstances and continue to let our light shine in joy!
Are you facing the unknown in sickness? I am. Let us walk the journey together. Grateful for those in the healthcare field. Grateful for those willing to share this journey. We are not alone, but have a Father in Heaven who cares deeply for us, as well as fellow pilgrims, the hands and feet of Christ. I BELIEVE!
We can also get to know God better by spending time in prayer and worship. The Bible says,
“Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Notice that the peace comes when we give things to God in prayer. It does not wait for how He answers our prayers. It does not depend on the outcome. The peace comes when we put the situation into God’s hands. The Bible says that we should cast all our cares (concerns) on God because he cares (loves and takes care of) us. (1 Peter 5:7)
What am I talking about? Picking tomatoes? No, I am referring to the harvest of souls that are ready and willing to hear the message of salvation through our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Promised Messiah to Israel. I am ready to be a servant of the King and rescue those drowning in their tears. Life is hard, but GOD is good and His promises last forever. I am reminded daily that my life is not my own, that I should use my energy, time and talents for the Kingdom. I strive to make every day count for HIM!
Whether you are wandering in the desert or wilderness, walking by a quiet brook, working in your garden, scaling a mountain peak, treading water, or sitting at the Master’s feet, will you please consider taking up your cross and living as Jesus asks us to…humbly and in prayer!
Luke 10:2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
John 4:35 Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’?
I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.
April 13, 2013
Sometime in the future?
I have knocked down doors in hopes that I could save lost souls. The harvest is plentiful, I have found, but I am certainly not equipped to harvest anyone from destruction. I am missing some vital tools. Instruction. To be a vessel of God’s love to the lost and hurting I need to know who I am in Christ. It is not I but Christ who lives in me and all the glory belongs to God. I can have a prideful spirit. I do not mean to step on toes, I am just so excited to tell the story of how Jesus saves, lives and loves. Looking forward to the day I am led to a place I have been called to minister.
Matthew 5:16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
A gardener is always elated to find a toad in the garden.
What fun it would be to have a toad cam. Sitting around the dining room table, the family discussed the possibilities of doing such a thing. We probably will not be able to, since I wanted to put the camera on the toad, and not just set up a camera to watch the toad. Googling such an adventure, there were a few sites that had recorded toads, but found nothing like what I had proposed. It sure would be fun and interesting.
I have witnessed a toad eat a worm. The worm was fairly large and the toad sucked it in like spaghetti. Swwwwwipppppp! and the worm was no more! I am not too happy about toads eating the worms in my yard, although I have plenty of them. I just would rather I saw Mr. Toad eating the mosquitos, ants or japanese beetles.
Which brings me to the horror of watching a spider eat a butterfly. This happened just yesterday, shortly after taking this fellow’s picture. I saw the dangling Painted Lady, caught in a Wolf Spider’s web, and tried to rescue it before the spider found dinner. Wh@t! I was too late. Dinner was served!
“Poetry is the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads.”
Marianne Moore (American Poet, 1887-1972)