One day I walked into an antique store in Hailey, Idaho. The only thing I really remember from this store was a painting. It was nestled up high in a peeked rafter. Hardly noticeable. It caught my eye because it was of a small boy crying. It was most likely rarely noticed but I fell in love with that painting. I'm sure it had something to do with my new found motherly hormones as my first born son was then only 18 months old. We were broke though, and I left the store without it.
Six months later I unwrapped the very same painting for my birthday. It was a small logistical feat for my sweet and thoughtful husband to get this beloved gift to me since we lived in the valley of Oregon nearly 13 hours away. I unwrapped the painting and cried.
This painting has hung in various position in our house for 8 years now. I first hung it in our dinning room without realizing the conversation piece it would be. Nearly every person who sat down at our table would ask the same question, "What do you think she is crying about?" (As it turned out it was a little girl, but in the shadows of the gable I saw a boy.)
It was so fun to hear different people's interpretations of this painting. I remember my African brother, who came from a very poor area in Africa, thought she was a spoiled rich girl crying because she didn't get her way. I thought she was crying because she missed her momma. But my favorite interpretation came from Thing 1. It was a wonderful conversation that went something like this. (Keep in mind he was only about two at the time.)
Thing 1: "Mommy why do you think that girl is crying?"
Me: "I don't know. Why do you think she is crying?"
Thing 1: "Because she read a sad book."
Me: "Oh, yes. That can sometimes make you cry. What do you think we should do about it?"
Thing 1 (very confidently): "Umm...Hug her, pray, and read a different book."
Isn't it true that a picture is worth a thousand words? Pictures are stories all on their own.
I wonder what you would have to say about this crying girl if you came to our house for dinner? What story does she tell you? Try showing this picture to your kids and see what stories they come up with.