Faith Miscellaneous

The Herring Net

About 20 years ago, I bought a painting at a garage sale.  It was a print of the painting The Herring Net by Winslow Homer.  It reminded me the bible verse, ““Come, follow Me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Matt 4:19.

The Herring Net by Winslow Homer

I hung that painting up everywhere I lived for many years.  Well, almost everywhere.  There were a couple of times that the person I was seeing at the time hated it so I didn’t hang it up.  I mean it was kind of ugly, faded and even looked dirty.  I understand.  It wasn’t pretty but the painting reminded me of my faith.

About 5 years ago, I approached my buddy, Jerry, who is a talented artist to see if he would freshen up that painting a bit.  He declined as it was too far gone and probably not worth the time.  When I then brought it up to Jerry’s Daughter, Heather, who is also a painter, she agreed to do something with it.

That something turned into a completely new painting which is basically her interpretation of the original.  I then commissioned her to do the painting.  I not only paid her the requested fee, but ended up giving it back to her with the intent that she would give it to Jerry as a gift.  That apparently didn’t happen as Heather ended up with the painting.

The interpretation.

That chapter of life ended and I have since fallen out of touch with Heather.  Just recently, Jerry asked me if I knew anything about a painting of fishermen in a boat that he had in his garage.  Once again, his wife didn’t like the painting so it had been relegated to storage.     As Jerry tells the story, when Heather had left the house she was living in, Jerry had dutifully collected the painting before selling the house.

All of that brings us to this past week when Jerry came over and gave me the painting.

As I was looking at the painting a couple of days ago, a few things popped into my head.

1) I never thought I would see that painting again.   It was out of my mind for good.  I had given up on it years ago.

2) It was brought to me by my good friend and brother in the Lord, Jerry.  Normally I only see Jerry about once a year and usually me going to his house almost 2 hours away.  It is an anomaly that he would be at my place 2 weeks in a row.

3) The painting was hand delivered.

I tend to spiritualize things at times as I believe that nothing happens by chance and there are no coincidences.  I believe all things are ordered by God.  

With all the craziness in the world these days, a lot of us are existing alone or with very little social contact.  I believe God used this incident to deliver a message. 

a) That God would restore things to me, even things that I thought were gone, or things I would never have.

b)  God deliver these things to me.  I would not have to go searching for them.

c)  That God had seen my situation and wanted to tell me in a very real way that He is still there.

God will often reveal Himself to us at our most difficult times.  And it might be through an old forgotten painting.


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