Edouard Manet and Small Blessings

I just read an interesting little book about the French Impressionist painter, Edouard Manet, and gained an insight about little things — small blessings, Bible verses, flower blossoms, and special moments.

Manet easily became frustrated with his own work and dissatisfied with his paintings.  Sometimes he would destroy the canvas by cutting out small scenes with which he was pleased and which seemed good enough to stand by themselves.

These small cut-outs became masterpieces.

A good example is “Women at the Races,” which is now in America, displayed at the Cincinnati Art Museum.  This was originally part of a large painting, but Manet deemed it the only part of the scene worth saving; so he cut it out and the smaller painting (about 17″ by 13″) is a wonder in itself.

We love all of the Word of God, but sometimes just a small verse cut from the Bible thrills our hearts.  We love sceanic visits, but sometimes a single cloud or a solitary beam of sunshine can lift our spirits.  We’re grateful for long volumes of interesting literature, but sometimes just a sentence or brief devotional can encourage us.  A long sermon or extended lecture is sometimes useful, but an insightful sentence from a friend can sometimes do more good than an entire collection of homilies.

Thank God for brevity, economy, small blessings, simple pleasures, and the miniatures of His grace!

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