Sunday, August 5, 2007

Monet's Choice - And Mine

I don't know much about art, and almost nothing about art history, but I do have a favorite artist - Claude Monet. I love spending time in a book I have, that tells about his life and shows pictures of him, his family, his gardens and his paintings. Some years ago I wrote the following devotional thought based upon some information I learned about his life. I hope you enjoy it this Sunday morning. -- Linda


Can you imagine a man with two passions in life - light and color - losing his eyesight? Such was the case with the famous French impressionist, Claude Monet. Monet devoted 25 years of his life to creating a floral paradise on his country estate in Giverny, and putting onto canvas his impressions of the beauty around him. Then, when he was in his sixties, cataracts began to form on his eyes, and his vision began to fail. Monet continued to paint, but his paintings grew darker, and objects grew unidentifiable. Within a few years he was almost totally blind, and his canvases were covered only in dark, swirling shades of red. His paintings were accurate images of his own distorted impressions, but they bore very little resemblance to reality.

In 1923, at the age of 83, Monet, somewhat fearfully, agreed to allow a physician to perform cataract surgery on one of his eyes. It was a success! Monet's clear vision returned, and his paintings were filled once again with what he loved most - dazzling splashes of light and color inspired by his gardens. Following his surgery, Monet spent the last three years of his life completing what is now considered to be his crowning achievement, the water lily collection.

Every one of us begins life basking in God's light. But, as sin distorts and clouds our spiritual vision, darkness prevails. Spiritual darkness results in guilt, depression, confusion and, ultimately, death. Monet could have chosen to do nothing about his blindness and to surrender to darkness; but he yearned to return to the light. Surrender to darkness or return to the light - it's the same choice we face, spiritually, when we consider God's gracious offer to bring us out of darkness and into His glorious light.

I Peter 2:9 "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has calledd you out of darkness into His marvelous light."


Kelsey said...

Monet is my favorite too! And I'm not just saying that to get in good with the mother-in-law :)

Only problem is that his paintings really don't mesh well with my decorating style, so I have nothing of his in my house. So sad.

Linda said...

I don't have any of his art in our house, either :-( Same reason, I guess.

I have a book that I'll have to give Sweetpea when she gets older -- it's written for children, but for older ones. It's called Linnea in Monet's Garden, and it's the most delightful book about a little girl who visits the gardens, and the museum in Paris, where she sees Monet's paintings. I love reading it, myself.

Here's a link to the book, and I see that now they have a DVD to go with it. (Hmmm. Guess I can't paste a hot link into this comment box. I'll send it to you in an email.)