There is a Bigger Picture

This summer, my husband and I made a trip to Boston to visit my best friend. While there, we toured the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. We wandered around exhibit to exhibit until we happened upon some gorgeous Claude Monet’s. I made a bee-line for the art description card in front of the paintings. After reading, I looked up to examine the work. There was thick, course paint and a swirling of many colors: white, salmon, navy, light blue, gold. The painting was lovely, I mused to myself, but it was a little underwhelming.

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I wondered if I was too close, so I began walk back. Slowly, the painting shifted into focus. The colors that blended into each other now turned into shading and reflections of a cathedral. The thick, course paint conveyed the stone walls; reflecting and absorbing the light in the room as the cathedral would have.


I sucked in a breath.

In those brief moments, my appreciation for Claude Monet doubled. I marveled at the the way he was able to capture light in the painting. Mostly I was dumbfounded that he could orchestrate so much detail up close to create such a vivid picture from afar.

Lately, I’ve found my mind wandering back to those Monet paintings.

The end of this year hasn’t been easy for me. I’ve had so many things going on: family crisis, practice, school, work, stress, frustration, occasional spells of depression.

I have let the never-ending pile of stress come at me, focusing on each blow dealt. I have taken up each burden with tears and a determination to keep my eyes down. God has been showing me lately that this stage of my life has been like the Monet painting.

With every onslaught, I have kept my eyes focused on the small parts of the painting. All I could see was the rough paint, the pinks, the blues, the grays.

As I have come through the storm, I can see that the rough paint created patience, the pinks fostered faith, the blues forged trust, and the grays cultivated encouragement.

Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. -Nehemiah 8:10

In preparation for this coming year, God has shown me that with every heart ache, there is a plan. He has never failed me, and I don’t see that changing. When things feel like they are falling apart, I only need to take a few steps back. The pandemonium of colors and textures will morph into a beautiful work of art.

For 2016, I hope to remember that I am a Monet.


4 responses to “There is a Bigger Picture

  1. Crazy what happens to that painting when you step back and gain perspective. Really gorgeous. I love the way you use this metaphor to understand yourself and your tendencies. I know what you mean about the onslaught and the overwhelm. I try to remind myself to stay present in this moment. Have you ever participated in One Little Word? I was thinking you might enjoy that: I think it originated here: Many of the teacher bloggers you read participate. My word this year was “present.” I was only so successful. I’m thinking for 2016, I might choose “create.”

    • That painting is a moment I will never forget. It’s been such a great reminder to take some breaths. I’ll have to check that out! I did something similar last year. I’m thinking my new word will be reach. I love create for you, especially in light of all the creating you already do. 🙂

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