Monday, October 26, 2015

Where Are You, Norman Rockwell?

Yesterday my wife and I went to see a Norman Rockwell exhibit at a local museum. It featured many of the Saturday Evening Post covers from the 20's-60's. As we strolled through the exhibit many of those covers sparked memories from my childhood.

I found myself thinking about my parents as I strolled along the walls of the museum with my wife. My mom and my dad subscribed to the Saturday Evening Post. Life was so much simpler back when I was a kid. Sigh.

Norman Rockwell, quite simply, had a gift. I have never seen anyone who could bring scenes to life and tell a story in just one paint the way he did. Others have tried but none have come close.

The images he created speak to a simpler time when life was less complicated. There was a trust we had for one another and for our government for that matter, that has now become the exception rather than the rule.

I'd like to show you a few pictures to see if you don't agree. The first one up there represents a respect for teachers. The group could be expanded to include others who serve as well - police, soldiers, firemen. Examine the detail in his paintings and you will begin to see how each person is different, and seems to speak to us through our eyes, then into our hearts.

Here's another one of Rockwell's covers. The topic is family. Nothing says "family" like Thanksgiving dinner! Examine the people at this table. All are happy, all are looking forward to a meal together with people they love.  This represents another thing that is dwindling in our country - the family. More and more families are split up, fatherless, motherless, broken, estranged, divorced or non-existent. Why? How could something so wonderful be so depleted to the point where it has become rare. The reason can be found in this last painting.

Another vanishing part of America these days is prayer. We have become a fast food society, seldom taking time to give thanks to God for all He has given us. Our trend lately is to just forget about God and try to handle life on our own. And where has that gotten us? There is disrespect for teachers and police, "family" has been replaced by Facebook & Twitter. The core values of our once great nation have been eroded away by the ruler of this world. The Bible calls him Satan.

I invite you to take a look at Norman Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post covers. There's a link below. Perhaps you too will see something that has been lost in our society since the days when our country was a great nation. If we examine our past and examine our present we can easily determine a direction. We can also see what has been lost or forgotten and discover the things we need to make this country great again.

The recovery, I believe, begins with faith but it doesn't end there. Trust, hope, respect, honor, reverence also matter. That reminds me of another Norman Rockwell painting that can be found on the cover of the Boy Scout Handbook - circa 1964.

Inside the handbook you can find this: The Scout Law - "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent."

What if we lived our lives like that? What if we lived our lives like God wants us to. Maybe the following Bible verse will sound familiar. It should. It's almost like the Scout Law you just read!

"22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another."
- Galatians 5:22-26

Amen to that!

Norman Rockwell Covers

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