I once saw a beautiful picture: it is a landscape at evening. In the distance, on the right-hand side, a row of hills appears blue in the evening mist. Above those hills, the splendor of the sunset, gray clouds float with linings of silver and gold and purple. The landscape is plain, like a heath, covered with grass and yellow leaves, for it is autumn. Through it runs a road leading to a high mountain, far, far away, and on top of that mountain is a city whereon the setting sun casts its glory. On the road walks a pilgrim, staff in hand. He has been walking a long while already, and is very tired. And now he meets a woman, or figure in black that makes one think of St. Paul’s word: sorrowful yet always rejoicing. That angel of God has been placed there to encourage the pilgrims and to answer their questions.
The pilgrim asks her, “Does the road go uphill all the way?” And the answer is, “Yes, to the very end.” And he asks again, “And will the journey take all day?” And the answer is, “From morn to night, my friend.”
And the pilgrim goes on, sorrowful yet always rejoicing-sorrowful because it is so far off and the road so long: hopeful as he looks up to the eternal city far away, resplendent in the evening glow. And he thinks of an old saying that he heard long ago: “Much strife must be striven, much suffering must be suffered, much prayer must be prayed, but the end will be peace.”
- November 5, 1876
Saturday, September 25, 2004
Bruderhof Communities - Insights from an Artist