What a dismal scene. A man and a woman are walking in a snowstorm. His legs are bandaged and he uses crutches. She is barefoot in the snow wrapped in a cloak. Her gaze is downcast, he looks up to the heavens as if to say, “Why me?” Each despairs of their condition which is abject poverty. So engrossed in their unhappy and hopeless situation are they that neither notices the bright lights coming from the pentacles (gold coins) depicted in the stained glass windows in the church to their left. It is a cautionary tale, one that messages the mistake of too much attention to the problem rather than solution. If we keep our heads buried in the circumstances of our despair we will miss the signs of hope and help. Look to the light…always.
In the picture the fellow with the hidden face cloaked by a midnight blue robe sees only the three overturned cups on the ground in front of him spilling green and red liquid. He does not see the two standing upright behind him. He has allowed himself to be mired in a despair so great he does not see the bridge over the water to the castle on the other side where, perhaps, his love stays waiting for him to resume her. If he could lift his head up and take a look around he could spot these possible solutions to his problems. It is a cautionary tale instructing us to resist self-pity and the inertia from succumbing to despair. The bridge is illuminated and stands out as a beacon–a bridge over troubled waters indeed. If this resonates, may you find your bridge over troubled waters this week.