A few years ago, a picture stopped me in my tracks. We were walking through the annual art festival in Comfort, Texas. Hanging in Teri McReynolds stall was a print of her painting “The Doll Seller.” Something about that painting captivated me. The print hangs in my office and I am still discovering more and more “somethings” that draw me to this painting. Art has a way of inviting us into new ways of seeing.
“The Doll Seller” invites me to see the faces and the stories of those in need. As the girl stands before me with her handmade dolls asking for both help and dignity, I am reminded of the many ways that I try to deny or ignore the humanity of the many problems, needs, and suffering that bombard me in the news each day. I am challenged instead to see the gifts, dreams, desires, and hope which each person brings.
I am challenged to see myself in the doll seller. I can see myself standing before God asking for daily bread. I can see the preparation that goes into asking. I recognize the offering of all that I am and all that I have before God. I can see the desperation and the hope. If I gaze long enough, I can see from her eyes the loving kindness of God.
As I allow the image of the doll seller to call forth other images, I can see Elijah under the broom tree crying out to God in despair. I can see blind Bartimaeus crying out to Jesus on the road near Jericho. I can see the way that God responds gently and with great love to my needs, whether I can understand them or not. I can see the ways that as we cry out in prayer, God always changes us, whether or not He changes our circumstances.
What does “The Doll Seller” invite you to see?