In tears, I look at the painting hanging on the wall. I purchased the painting on the Big Island while I was living out there. It was my third year and I would soon sail away to move back to the mainland. The painting captured my heart when I first saw it. Under the moonlight, a white light house shines alone. The moon. The gently stirring power. The light. The guiding light. The. Way. The painting symbolized all that I was desperately searching for. Now, nine years later, the painting has finally found its home. The well deserved rest after its years of navigating the oceans. This is not the final home, but so far, it is the best home I can give her.
Sadly, the painter passed away last year. I never learned of the cause of his death. I’ve always dreamed of the day I would walk into his gallery and meet his big, warm embrace. We would laugh and reminisce. I was going to tell him how much I missed the slow pace and the simple lifestyles of the island. But I guess that will have to wait until I join him in heaven.
While I was living on the island, I was blessed to meet God-sent angels. The artist Robert Thomas was one of them. I was blessed to make his morning lattes most mornings. Because the gallery and the cafe I managed were next door neighbors, I was blessed to watch him paint every day. He had magical strokes that turned any blank canvas into a living Hawaiian scenery. I did not have much money, but I knew I was leaving the island soon and I wanted to keep at least one of his artworks. And this light house painting came. By the generosity of him and his family, it was given to me as a gift. It is all the more special because of that reason. And so, I always hoped that I would one day go back to the island and show my gratitude somehow.
But the Robert Thomas that I know would not expect me to pay him back for anything. Instead, I can feel him still blessing me, encouraging me on as I continue this same old journey of depression. Through that painting, I can feel the big wide smile that was always on his aged face. And he is telling me that just like that shining light house, I have power to lead my weak and powerless soul suffering in the darkness. And that power is my prayers.
Tears continue to streak across my face. This morning, I cannot stop crying. So many emotions are welling up from the memories. I am replaying the day I ran to the gallery for a rescue during my fearful panic attack. Now I see the day I saw this light house painting for the first time, Now Robert is joyfully watching his grandson crawling and saying “One step at a time, that’s how life works”. What he said in that moment struck through my heart right then and there, almost like God engraving the Ten Commandment on a stone. Those words always visited me during my darkest days long after I left Hawaii.
The chain suicides news of the two young Korean singers recently stirred the international news media. This is an unfortunate social epidemic that is occurring more frequently than we can easily digest. Just as the gun violence is a main concern in the U.S., suicide epidemic, especially among the young, is a serial killer in South Korea. The only way to repair these problems that are bigger than our ability to fix is through prayers. We need more angels like Robert Thomas in this world.
Mr. Thomas truly showed me how Jesus works through His servants. Jesus is still very active, even at the far away corner of the Big Island. And now, I promise to continue the unfinished legacy of Robert Thomas who truly loved and cared for even the smallest of the small.
Arise, little souls, from the darkness that grips you. It has no power over you. By the power of Jesus who rose from death, His Spirit will accompany you through your torturing darkness you are walking through. The light of Jesus will guide you. In God’s time, you will see the end of your dark tunnel. So don’t give up, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Because the joyful eternity awaits you. If you hold on just a little bit more, Jesus will set you free from your suffering. Take one step at a time that’s all you need to do. And look up, the glory of Jesus is here within us. Even in the darkness you are in.