Vincent Van Gogh had a favorite expression: “sorrowful, but always rejoicing.”
Henri Nouwen said of Vincent:
“His life and paintings illustrate the three components of the spiritual life.
In solidarity we cry out with those who suffer.
In consolation we feel deeply with those in pain.
We offer comfort by pointing beyond our shared human pains to glimpses of strength and hope.”
Vincent himself wrote: “In a picture I’d like to say something comforting, in the same way as music.”
Art has a way of re-framing the darkness we experience in our sorrows, and helps us to see the light and the sunshine of hope that brightens life once again.
We have cried with those who suffer and felt deeply with those in pain this week.
We need comfort to be pointed beyond our pains to glimpses of strength and hope.
May we find this comfort in a glimpse of the sunflowers after the sorrows.
“I’m thinking of decorating my studio with a half dozen pictures of sunflowers, a scheme in which raw or broken chrome yellows will burst forth against various backgrounds — blue from the palest Veronese green to royal blue — and framed with thin wooden strips painted in orange lead.
The kind of effect you get with stained-glass windows in Gothic churches.” – Vincent Van Gogh
Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy. Philippians 4:8 VOICE
Help us Lord to decorate our lives today with sunflowers, to rejoice again in light and life, and find comfort in the beauty of the glimpses of strength and hope all around us.
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