Langlois Bridge at Arles, Vincent van Gogh, (1853-1890) oil on canvas, 1888. 19.4 x 25.3 inches, Wallrat-Richartz Museum
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I love this painting. It has always been a part of my life because my mother had a reproduction of it on the cover of a cookie tin we got for Christmas one year. High Art! And so it has always been a treasure among her things.

Vincent van Gogh must have been captured with this place as he painted it from different perspectives at least 4 times. I like this one because the draw bridge is down and a lone woman is making her way across…

Last summer I read in one of my many devotional books that bridge relationships are healthy and needed for our spiritual growth and the statement made be wonder why?

Why is it important for us to have “bridge” relationships? By this I mean, relationships with people who are different from ourselves. Why is it important to nurture those kinds of connections?

When we attempt to reach out or even just maintain our relationships with people who are different than ourselves we must:

  • attempt to walk in someone’s shoes
  • imagine the possibility that we are not always right
  • place other people’s desires above our own
  • accept someone for who they are without trying to change them
  • we can begin to have God’s eyes for other people

When we make bridges a regular part of our spiritual practices

  • we can learn to see things from another perspective
  • we begin to grow as a person
  • we enjoy an experience of a larger world
  • we become more selfless and less self-centered
  • we learn to love more holy and pure

Surely this is the very definition of love and what Jesus taught us when he said we should pray for our enemies and those who hate us.

See Matthew 5: 36-41

This week, while I was considering bridges, I remembered and enjoyed this performance of Bridge Over Troubled Water. You can see Paul Simon sitting in the shadows just taking it all in as Garfunkel brings his music to life. What an angelic voice…

I found it interesting to note that Paul Simon was inspired to write this song after hearing a gospel song sung by the Silvertones called “Mary Don’t You Weep.” It seems there is a line in this song about Jesus being a bridge over deep waters. Hearing this line, Paul Simon wrote Bridge Over Troubled Waters. The piano accompaniment is in the style of gospel piano and Simon thinks of this song as a hymn. I hope you will listen and begin to hear Jesus singing to you today.

Let this be our prayer…

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Michael ODonnell says:

    Thanks Jen!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Michael ODonnell says:

    Thanks Jen! Lovely picture.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Nadine Zeh says:

    this was such an inspiration for me. I enjoyed immensely Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome Aboard Nadine, I just talked to your mom this morning. She is always pretty cheerful. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. How I enjoy this and other posts of yours. This painting is part of my collection I have from Provence. Yes, bridges are very important to the happiness of life, Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

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