I find myself so often, just having so much to express with no way to get it out. Writing, I feel, falls short, because I can’t express with my body the passion I feel. You see, I’m not really a writer or an artist that can capture a moment in time, space, or thought. What I am is a Letter to be read; a vessel to be used to carry the Water of Life to a Dry and Thirsty people. “A Voice of one crying out in the Wilderness.” Like an Artist though, I am trying to get people’s attention to what compels me. To express that which is written on my heart. But so often, I’m wonder if anyone is reading me? Are they seeing what I am pointing to? Are they able to drink from the well I’m offering them?
There was a famous Missionary, famous not for his work for God, but for his ability to paint what he saw with the eyes of God. His struggle was not with God, but his ability express the Un-expressible, and get people to see God. What people saw was him, not what he was showing. People Judged him harshly, offering only silence and abandonment. He struggled with getting people to see, feel, and experience what captured his heart. He wrote to his brother, “There may be a great Fire in our soul, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke coming through the chimney and go along their way.”
Don McClean would write a song about this Missionary and named it after one of the Missionary’s most famous Paintings. Starry Night
“Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer’s day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils….
Now I understand what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they did not know how.
Perhaps they’ll listen now.”
Vincent Van Gogh wanted to show the beauty of the world he saw thru the eyes of Christ, but no one was listening. No one was looking. Sometimes the most painful things felt is not with our flesh but our spirit. The pain that comes from the depth of the soul when we try to express that which is unexpressible, and no one is stopping to look at the fire that is kindled in the chimney of our soul. Oh they may see the smoke and wonder, but never do they come in and warm themselves by the fire of our souls, nor do they feed the flame.
Jeremiah the prophet said in Chapter 20:9 “But if I say I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name, then in my heart it becomes like a burning Fire, Shut up in my bones, and I’m weary of holding it in. And I can not endure it.” Jeremiah is screaming but no one is really listening. Those that are, just ridiculing him and beating him. He goes on to say in verses 14 & 15, “cursed be the day when I was born, Let the day not be blessed when my mother bore me! Cursed be the man that brought my father news ‘a baby boy has been born to you!'” Like wise, Van Gogh’s last words to his Brother as he died, “This Pain will not end.”
Yes, Like them, I have a flame in my soul, a fire in my heart, a message for the people, but who is listening? For so long I have felt the words of Don McLean.,
“And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they’re not listening still
Perhaps they never will”
So, I look at people, particularly youth, they all have a talent, a gift, a message, something to offer to those around them, but no one is paying attention. We pass judgement on them, because they are not like us. We cast our words at them like stones. And all along, How many are suffering for their Sanity? Are we seeing the smoke from their chimneys? Are we listening to their stories told? Or will it be like Van Gogh, and so many others, that it’s not until they are gone from us that we realized what they had to offer.
May the Lord give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to receive what is being shown thru the windows of the souls around us. May the fire of our hearts be stoked with the visits of those who need to be warmed and feed.
Starry Starry Night.. Perhaps now we will.