Do you see what I see?

broken cup

It could have been much worse


“That must have been some STRONG coffee!”


That quote gets my vote (and Mrs. Sweetie’s) for the best response to a picture I posted to Facebook a few days ago. Part of my morning ritual is to bring her a cup of coffee and a granola bar when she gets up in the morning. (Retirement has its perks–pun intended–but I digress.)  I had carried this cup full of coffee to her and when she picked it up to drink it, the handle came off in her hand.  Thankfully, the cup barely moved from the counter top and we only had a minor spill to clean up.


Not one to waste a photo-op, I captured the moment and posted to Facebook. Of 15 comments received, the one above topped the list for creative interpretation.


I recently read a quote from famed American artist, Andrew Wyeth.  In 50 years of work, he only painted landscapes surrounding his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania and his family’s summer house in Cushing, Maine.  The quote:


“Most artists look for something fresh to paint; frankly I find that quite boring.  For me it is much more exciting to find fresh meaning in something familiar.”


I want you to pause right now and ponder that.  No, seriously, I mean it!  Stop reading and give yourself 30 seconds to ponder that quote. Wait for it … hold it … you may now continue reading (and I would really appreciate it if you did).


So, what thoughts did you have in your 30 second pit stop in Ponderland?  I wish I could have a conversation with each of you right now so I could learn from your perspective. (A comment below would be great to facilitate that)


I think that is the key—perspective!  What if, instead of only looking for something new and revolutionary, we spent time interpreting the familiar in new and revolutionary ways?  In many ways, I am a technology nerd (I love me some toys), but in the past couple of years I have found new joy in “repurposing” old items.  For example, the headboard above our bed is made from 3 doors that came out of my dad’s house when he remodeled over 40 years ago.  I recently bought an antique upright piano that I am going to transform into a custom desk.  I am trying to look at old things with fresh eyes.


As I write this, Christmas is 9 days away.  What if we approached our Christmas traditions with fresh eyes?  What if we learned to tell ancient truth with fresh perspective?


“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the RENEWING of your mind.” (Romans 12:2, New International Version) … “For I am about to do something NEW. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?” (Isaiah 43:19, New Living Translation) … “And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything NEW!’” (Revelation 21:5, New Living Translation) [emphases mine]


Listen.  Can you hear God’s questions: “Do you see what I see?  Do you know your life matters?”

Question: What perspective did you gain from the Wyeth quote?

Leave a comment below.  Let’s talk about it.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, argumentative, off-topic, or just plain unhelpful.

  • Jeff Roe

    From my perspective, the quote from Wyeth applies not only to art, but to teaching. If the writer of Ecclesiastes can (rightly) say “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecc. 1:9) and at the same time we continually learn new things, it would seem that learning comes from finding fresh meaning in something familiar. The teachers I have learned the most from, and hopefully emulate, all were quite adept at finding multiple ways to explain something so that each student could understand. I pray that this also applies to the question about the observance of upcoming Christmas traditions.

  • I think you are absolutely right about the broad application, Jeff. From a personal standpoint, when I think about the Christmas traditions, our own family will be challenged to see them with renewed eyes this year. We will be in a new place with new family members on Christmas Eve, yet our ultimate purpose will be the same. Challenging … scary … exciting.

  • Edy Neal Flippin

    We live in a society that is restless, searching for something new to stimulate our senses. Tastes, touch, things to see or possess. How much more content would we be if we learned to see with new eyes the “stuff”of the life that surrounds us? Its like when we study the Bible what I glean today as a 50ish yr old is not what I saw 20yrs ago or even what I might see tomorrow. Look again with todays eyes and life experience at The Word, myself and life around and see what is new. What can God show me today. Maybe then I can choose joy today.

  • Great insight, Edy! I somehow missed your comment when it came in. I get the 50ish (ha!) perspective! I also appreciate your emphasis on joy as a choice. Blessings!

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