A few years ago I was on a lunch date with my wife at a great local Thai restaurant. After lunch, we walked over to the Yale University Art Gallery for the rare opportunity to see a special exhibit of Vincent Van Gogh’s original Cypresses and The Starry Night. I’m not an art connoisseur, but The Starry Night took my breath away.
I think what adds even more beauty to these stunning works of art is the fact that Van Gogh painted both of these masterpieces while confined to a mental asylum during a very dark time in his life. The paintings depict the view outside his sanitarium room window.
The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh
I never cease to be inspired and challenged by those, who by life’s circumstances or because of the cruelty of others, should by all rights only see darkness and night, but somehow are still able to see beauty, light and even stars.
I am humbled daily by seeing this ability develop in children who have survived the horrors of sex trafficking and exploitation. To hear their hopes and dreams and to see them smile and laugh, is a glimpse of the rarest kind of beauty.
I remember when I was little, there were times when I would look up at the night sky and wish upon a star. As I’ve grown older, these wishes look more like prayers. Yet they still have the same longing and ache.
That day at the art gallery, I was longing to bring our youngest daughter home from Vietnam. (We were in the adoption process for several years). While I was looking at Van Gogh’s, The Starry Night, I thought to myself; ‘if you’re going to wish upon a star…now is the time, because these are some REALLY nice stars.’ So off into Van Gogh’s starry night went my wish. And off into heaven went my prayer.
Stars by ~Brahmst on deviantART
Today, I still make similar wishes, birthed out of that same ache and place of longing. Prayers for the forgotten, the enslaved, the exploited. And my hope remains the same; that somehow, someway, these feeble wishes and prayers catch the attention of the God of the fatherless, the orphaned and the broken. And that in some small way, I…we…all of us…by our action, become the answer to our own prayers.
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