I watched a video of the powerful true story of Chris Williams, who forgave the young drunk driver that killed his wife and two of his children. Soon afterward, he decided he needed to forgive and let it go. Chris then visited the young man, still in prison, and talked with him and encouraged him to also let it go. It’s an amazing story of forgiveness. It shows how one’s life can be more free and unburdened by letting go of anger and disappointment. It shows how forgiving someone allows them to also move on with their life and forgive themselves.
What opened my eyes was how the forgiveness rippled through the friends and family on both sides of the equation. It helped them find peace as well. Neighbors. The parents of the young man. (see 05:30 in the video) The bishop (pastor) of the congregation. One also assumes Chris Williams’ children, and their future children. The future children of the young man. A single act of forgiveness can indeed heal a community.
It has been along time since I read through the Bible. I’m finding that I’ve forgotten many details of some of the stories. As I studied Genesis 32 and 33, I felt genuine suspense at Jacob’s return to Abraham’s land. I sensed the anxiousness of Jacob, who was committed to follow God’s command to return, but terrified that his brother would still seek to kill him and his family. I was impressed with his wisdom to divide up the family so that half could live should things get ugly. Also with his wisdom and humility to send flocks ahead of him as a gift, and have his servants state that Jacob would be the servant of Esau. What would happen? I ran out of time yesterday in my study. It was just like a cliff-hanger for me.
Today I was deeply touched by the continuation of the story. How touching kindness and love Esau showed to his brother to run and greet him. How gracious were the words of Jacob to his brother. Time heals many things. Efforts to be kind and humble, gifts of recognition, and words of healing make a big difference. It helps when both sides seek to repair the relationship.
The study lesson also pointed to a video about two real life brothers, who had a destructive relationship. I wept as I watched this video and saw how things changed. I learned that we don’t always know what is under the surface and why people are unkind. Sometimes it’s deeper. I learned that making and effort, even when a relationship is deeply damaged can sometimes make the difference. Applying the love of Christ to the relationship makes all the difference in the world.
My recommended inspiring video of the day: Two Brothers Apart (at LDS Youth; 6 minutes long)
In an obscure history museum in the small town of Craig, Colorado, I came upon the art of Gerard Curtis Delano, who painted western themes in the early 1900’s. Delano used simple forms and rich colors, almost chromatic, especially when depicting the bright colors in traditional colors of native American colors. The museum had several prints of his work. I had never heard of Delano previously, and would have probably not even remembered him, had it not been for what happened next.
As I came around one display, I encountered his work, Mountain Men, depicting two mountain men riding a makeshift raft down a river. This was an original, 30″ x 36″. The image I have linked hardly does justice to the rich pastel colors, which make the water so cold and atmosphere so misty. What really exited me was the action implicit in the scene, and the feeling of being there, achieved by the low angle of view.
No prints were available. Research shows that it sold in 2013 for $74,750. Still, it is a new favorite of mine.
Mountain Men by Gerard Curtis Delano
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on Dame’s Rocket
I’ve been watching a meadow full of purple wildflowers. I’ve visited several times over the last few days to take pictures and paint. I did a plein air morning study
, that I’ve posted on my art blog. It turns out that the beautiful voilet stalks are Dame’s Rocket, which is considered an invasive species.
A field with large patches of Dame’s Rocket
I went back again in the afternoon, and I was surprised how many butterflies and bees were out. The first picture in the post is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio glaucus).
There were also orange-banded Red Admiral (vanessa atalanta)
Red Admiral Butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) on Dame’s Rocket
Then, on the way home, a wild turkey crossed the road. Couldn’t find it in the butterfly book.
Wild turkey crossing the road.
April 21 at 9am. Morning sun.
April 21 at 1 pm. Overcast.
April 23 at 6:30 pm. Evening sun.
Assignment was three paintings of the same object, using brush.
Study 1. 9am April 14. Morning sunlight, no clouds.
Study 2. 7pm April 14. Overcast.
Study 3. 6pm April 17. Declining sunlight, mixed clouds. (Started sunny, finished cloudy).
Painting instructor wanted three 60 minutes 6×8 studies of the same subject at different times / days. All knife work.