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As Ray and I headed to church yesterday morning, I noticed a patch of fresh green poking through the brown grass in our yard. This  is not the prettiest picture of a plant in my collection, but it is one with a powerful one-word message: Possibilities.

These green leaves are growing from bulbs beneath the surface, but I typed seed in the search bar of the image collection of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was delighted to find this Vincent van Gogh painting called First Steps.

First Steps, after Millet by Vincent van Gogh, 1890
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Gift of George N. and Helen M. Richard, 1964

I read that Van Gogh painted copies of this and 20 other works of art by Jean-François Millet, an artist whom he admired. Van Gogh painted First Steps in oil on canvas. I was also able to find Millet’s First Steps, which is black chalk and pastel on beige paper.

First Steps by Jean-François Millet, c. 1859-66
Courtesy of The Cleveland Museum of Art,
Gift of Mrs. Thomas H. Jones Sr.

First Steps also illustrates possibilities. We love to see those first steps, no matter how faltering they are. We look forward to the numerous possibilities ahead for this little loved one.

However, when our children get older, we are not always as confident or patient about their faltering steps toward learning something new, especially if we are convinced that they should be much farther along than they are.

It is sometimes easy to forget that we serve a God of possibilities Who loves our faltering child and Whom we can talk to about our every concern, no matter how big or small.

Now to Him who is able to do
far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works within us,
to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

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