One of my favorite gardens in all the world is at Giverny, France, home of the impressionist painter, Claude Monet, who spent more than 40 years masterminding and painting his spectacular gardens (from 1890-1923).When we were in Europe ten years ago with Jonathan and Kathy, I had to sweet-talk Alan into letting us spend the better part of a day away from Paris in order to visit, but he remembers it now as one of the highlights of our trip.
Monet spent years painting the same scenes over and over and over again. Haystacks, water lilies, irises…etc. What was so remarkable about his work (to me) was not the perfection of his ability to replicate reality, but his impressions of scenes…and his endless variations on themes under different circumstances of season, light, and weather.While we were visiting Jonathan and Linda, they took us to the Japanese garden in Manito Park, Spokane. It reminded me so much of Giverny! It wasn’t at all a replica of Giverny, but it was reminiscent of Giverny with its beautifully manicured landscapes and wonderful, reflective pools.
I was totally mesmerized by the reflections in the shallow pools…the impressions of the world above in a kaleidoscope of colors and patterns below.It made me think of our lives as believers…how our spirits reflect what we see of the spiritual realm.The more troubled we are, the more distortions there are in our impressions and reflections.The more we focus our attention and emotions on the circumstances of our immediate lives, the less we see of heavenly realities.And, all the debris in our lives really smudges the the reflection until sometimes you can’t tell that there is anything spiritual going on at all!I long to be a peaceful, untroubled spirit that reflects God’s glory clearly during all the varying seasons and circumstances of life…diligently studying and practicing like Monet so that I can paint every vicissitude of God’s cascading light over the shadowlands of my life.
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)