I enjoy puzzles. For puzzles that are quite big (like 1000 pieces), one needs time and patience—both of which I rarely find I have. However, when I do, I like to puzzle. It keeps my mind occupied and it scratches my “need to get things accomplished” itch I often have. I recently started an extremely difficult puzzle. I always love a challenge, but it also represented so much more.


The puzzle was a picture of a Vincent Van Gogh painting. Van Gogh has a special place in Heidi and my heart’s. We visited the Van Gogh museum a few years ago and became captivated by Van Gogh’s story.

Most people know Vincent Van Gogh as a psychologically disturbed, imbalanced, and crazy yet talented artist. Most don’t realize that although Van Gogh did wrestle with deep bouts of depression, he was a deeply spiritual man who originally started out as a preacher. Only later did Van Gogh realize that to truly reach the human condition and express it like he so desired, he needed to become an artist. Heidi and I are not alone in our love of this artist; millions of people love his art and flock to museums that contain his masterpieces around the world. Van Gogh has an ability to unearth a sense of comfort and consolation in his art.

Personally, I am drawn to his paintings of tree blossoms. In some of my recent readings I discovered that he loved to paint tree blossoms because it represented hope and awakening. I love that!

Baseball and Blossoms

At the time of the writing of this blog on Easter weekend:

  • it was a gorgeous, spring, sunny weekend filled with beautiful blossoms on our walks
  • we enjoyed an amazing home cooked meal as a nuclear family
  • my son and I watched opening day Major League Baseball (we are big Blue Jay fans)
  • we kept a multi-generational tradition alive by painting Easter eggs together as a family
  • and we took time to participate/watch worship together as a family.

For us Christians, Easter season is the ultimate time of hope and awakening. We celebrate the resurrection of our Christ and we can’t help but sing and rejoice. We can’t help but be invigorated by the new life we have in Him. We can’t help but be inspired to live lives of service in response to what He has done for us!

Just What I Needed

I also just finished the puzzle on Easter weekend. I started it during spring break thinking it would only take me a couple of days…. It was painfully difficult, so finishing it was that much more satisfying. Even more satisfying however, was looking at a beautiful picture of a painting from a misunderstood artistic genius, who captured the hearts and minds of millions (including Heidi and me) with paintings that inspire hope and awakening. With everything that our world, our country, our province, our region, and our school are facing these days I needed Van Gogh and his beautiful story, I needed the sun and the spring blossoms, I needed a great family meal, I needed a beautiful painting (even if it took forever to complete the puzzle), and I needed Easter.

This is a painting worth keeping on the table for a few days. Entitled Almond Blossom, may it represent some version of hope and awakening.