An artist was commissioned
by a wealthy man to paint something that would depict peace. After
a great deal of thought, the artist painted a beautiful country
scene. There were green fields with cows standing in them, birds
were flying in the blue sky and a lovely little village lay in a
distant valley. The artist gave the picture to the man, but there
was a look of disappointment on his face. The man said to the artist,
"This isn't a picture of true peace. It isn't right. Go back
and try again.
The artist went back to his studio, thought for several hours about
peace, then went to his canvas and began to paint. When he was finished,
there on the canvas was a beautiful picture of a mother, holding
a sleeping baby in her arms, smiling lovingly at the child. He thought,
surely, this is true peace, and hurried to give the picture to the
wealthy man. But again, the wealthy man refused the painting and
asked the painter to try again.
The artist returned again to his studio. He was discouraged, he
was tired and he was disappointed. Anger swelled inside him, he
felt the rejection of this wealthy man. Again, he thought, he even
prayed for inspiration to paint a picture of true peace. Then, all
of a sudden an idea came, he rushed to the canvas and began to paint
as he had never painted before. When he finished, he hurried to
the wealthy man.
He gave the painting to the man. He studied it carefully for several
minutes. The artist held his breath. Then the wealthy man said,
"Now this is a picture of true peace." He accepted the
painting, paid the artist and everyone was happy.
And what was this picture of true peace?? The picture showed a stormy
sea pounding against a cliff. The artist had captured the furry
of the wind as it whipped black rain clouds which were laced with
streaks of lightening. The sea was roaring in turmoil, waves churning,
the dark sky filled with the power of the furious thunderstorm.
And in the middle of the picture, under a cliff, the artist had
painted a small bird, safe and dry in her nest snuggled safely in
the rocks. The bird was at peace midst the storm that raged about