"Peace begins with a smile."- Mother Teresa
This past week I spoke at a chapel service held at a posh retirement/rehab facility downtown in the city of Chicago. The chapel was a small room filled with stained glass windows, some were forms of art depicting the image of Jesus.
Along with my study on the subject of peace, I used some visual art of my own that resembled peace,
a couple of my nature photographs.
This stunning artwork, created by the One and Only...God, brought a smile upon the group's faces.
I preceded to challenge them with the proverbial line, "What do these pictures say to you?"
Their answer was exactly what I was searching for, peace.
Subsequently they began to ponder and explore their thoughts even more and then one elderly woman named Joan spoke up,
"Look at that picture of Jesus, there. (as she pointed to the stained glass art) That disturbs me because He isn't smiling. I don't know why that is. I don't see Jesus like that at all. I see Him as smiling."
Yep, Joan just opened up a whole new can of worms with that one! I explained to her that the stoic face of Jesus in that piece of art was probably how the artist envisioned Jesus.
There is a long-standing tale of how artist Leonardo Da Vinci had trouble putting the final touches onto his great masterpiece The Lord's Supper. While painting his most famous work, Da Vinci had a quarrel with a friend. This deeply disturbed him so much he used his foe's face as that of Judas
(you know, the guy who betrayed Jesus!) in his painting.
After three years of arguing with his friend and not able to complete his work to his satisfaction,
Da Vinci finally gave in and made peace with his enemy, changed the face of Judas on his painting, was happy with his finished work, and as they say, "The rest is history!"
As Henry David Thoreau once said, "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."
See Jesus for who He is not with your eyes, but with your heart.