In Featured, Pastor Paul's Blog

By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘Picture’ as in… embracing a powerful picture of your future.

The wind blows gently out of the southeast into the safety of the harbor in the little village of Genoa, Italy. The foothills are brown in the late summer; brown against a mostly blue sky, except for the clouds that both soak up as well as reflect the soft rose hues of the sun dipping into the Ligurian Sea. Christopher Columbus sits on the end to the pier gazing into the west. And while the sun sets on another day of dreaming, a vision wells up within him as he stares into a picture of his future with fierce determination.

“The Vision of Columbus,” painted in the early part of the 20th century by the American artist N. C. Wyeth, depicts the young voyager sitting on the end of a dock in the harbor of his boyhood home. Wyeth has captured Columbus somewhere around 17 years old. His face is fresh. His expression is intent. His gaze is steady as he looks beyond the shallow waters of this familiar harbor to the open waters of oceans beyond.

I’ve studied this painting a thousand times. It comes from a music book – a collection of simple tunes and melodies for children that I’ve had in my possession since I was less than half the age of Columbus shown the painting. It was often, in my boyhood home, that I would open the book to this page and plead with my mother:

“Please play this picture!”

This painting has always stirred something deep within me. More times than I can count, it’s given me courage and reminded me of the importance of welcoming adventure and cultivating a sense of wonder. Not long ago, after pulling the song book from the shelf and finding my way to this page, I realized that this single image represents for me a poignant sense of vision in my life.

Today as I look at this painting, a voice inside me speaks again:

“Please play this picture! Embrace the powerful image of your future!”

As you study the painting, what do you notice? What seems to draw you into it?


Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50works project, where be blogs about a different word each day. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche), or on his blog, Thriving Rhythms.

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