If been cleaning out some computer files, and found this nugget. Hope it gives you some insight not only on Van Gogh the artist, but also into your own life.
A LIVING MESSAGE
Vincent Van Gogh was not always an artist. In fact, he wanted to be a
church pastor and was even sent to the Belgian mining community of
Borinage in 1879. He discovered that the miners there endured
deplorable working conditions and poverty-level wages. Their families
were malnourished and struggled simply to survive. He felt
concerned that the small stipend he received from the church allowed
him a moderate life style, which, in contrast to the poor, seemed
One cold February evening, while he watched the miners trudging home,
he spotted an old man staggering toward him across the fields, wrapped
in a burlap sack for warmth. Van Gogh immediately laid his own
clothing out on the bed; set aside enough for one change, and
determined to give the rest away. He gave the old man a suit of
clothes and he gave his overcoat to a pregnant woman whose husband had
been killed in a mining accident. He lived on starvation rations and
spent his stipend on food for the miners. When children in one family
contracted typhoid fever, though feverish himself, he packed up his
bed and took it to them.
A prosperous family in the community offered him free room and board.
But Van Gogh declined the offer, stating that it was the final
temptation he must reject if he was to faithfully serve his
community of poor miners. He believed that if he wanted them to trust
him, he must become one of them. And if they were to learn of the
love of God through him, he must love them enough to share with them.
He was acutely aware of a wide chasm, which can separate words and
actions. He knew that people’s lives often speak louder and clearer
than their words.
As you go through your life today, stop to think: Who is listening to you?