In a recent movie about Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer , the painter’s friend, a baker, observes: “I bake bread; you paint pictures. The world doesn’t know what it wants.” A good illustration, I think, of the Proverb “The eyes of man are never satisfied” (27:20).
Needy in body and soul, we continually hunger for both bread and beauty. We demand more and more of our bakers, artists, philosophers and even holy men until they, seekers themselves, throw up their hands in frustration like the bread maker wondering just what will satisfy the customers.
At the drawing board of creation God designed both appetites. Though each kind of desire might drive us to excess, to substitutes, even to madness, He also knew they would compel us to search and, hopefully, to strive past the clutter of counterfeit goods and gods for the genuine, the stuff that truly satisfies, whether a crusty loaf of fresh-baked bread or truth. And above the debris of everything man has to offer in search of the ultimate best-ofs, God waits.
Above time, tumult, trial and error, He waits for our honest quest for honesty. But unlike the street corner barkers of by-gone eras or some dramatic warning from a pulpit God’s invitation is often subtle, a “still, small voice,” a whisper in the heart. Yet it is clear to the listening ear. And to those who choose to hear He offers not just a single meal but an eternal feast. Not just perishable benefits but everlasting bounty.
“And Jesus said unto them, ‘I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).
Repondez s’il vous plait.
Girl with a Pearl Earring.Directed by Peter Webber. Screenplay by Olivia Hetreed, adapted from the novel by Tracy Chevalier.
Photo from the public domain.