Monday, December 05, 2011

Work for Food

          Lunch, George Tooker, 1964, Columbus Museum of Art

Work for food your whole life long,
Food that cannot satisfy...
First you're young and firm and strong.
Then you're old, and then you die.

Is this all there is for you?
What's the meaning of it all?
Is there nothing more to do?
Can't you hear the Master's call?

There is more, much more, my friend.
There's a glow that's ever new
And strong life that has no end
And a vibrant work to do.

Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal. --Jesus, in John 6:27

Come, everyone who thirsts,

     come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
     come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
     without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
     and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
     and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
     hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
     my steadfast, sure love for David.
--Isaiah 55:1-3 ESV
For other people's thoughts on this same painting, click here.


kittyaugust said...

quite interesting take.
enjoyed the depth in it.

Brian Miller said...

nice...we act as if the small kingdoms which we amount can really last but like that of sand it disappears and what are we left with if we dont know the more...

Carrie Burtt said...

So much truth as this Jim! :-)

Ann Grenier said...

Thank You for this well penned reminder, Jim. Your knowledge of pertinent scriptural passages is admirable ...a gift to others. A perfect, straightforward reaction to the painting.

Jim Swindle said...

kittyaugust, glad you enjoyed it.
Brian Miller, yes, if we build our own kingdoms, we always ultimately fail.
Carrie Burtt, thanks for the encouragement.
Ann Grenier, I use an electronic Bible to look up the verses. Sometimes, as with the passage from Isaiah, it's one I'd memorized years ago and just need to refresh. More often, I don't have a specific verse in mind, and look for passages relating to a key word. Knowing God's word, to whatever extent, is a wonderful privilege and gift from him.

dfish said...

Thanks Jim. Well expressed description of our choices.

pieceofpie said...

we shall thirst no more... amen...

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

a good take on the prompt. lots of good lines to reflect on... love it!


Doctor FTSE said...

Food for our souls there, Jim.

Dave King said...

Very impressive, though I think I would have preferred it to end with St John's words. The implied is more powerful, I feel. A quibble. A fine post!

Jim Swindle said...

dfish, thanks.
pieceofpie, Thanks for being a first-time commenter here.
JJ Roa Rodriguez, glad you enjoyed it.
Doctor FTSE, thanks.
Dave King, You're probably right. Thanks very much for leaving constructive criticism.

susan m hinckley said...

Interesting take on the prompt, and I'm wondering how my own mind did not go there, which, to me signifies success in any art. The viewer recognizes truth immediately and says, "Exactly."

Jim Swindle said...

susan m hinckley, thanks for the kind words. Reading other people's writings about that picture has shown me that there are several other valid ways to look at it, such as loneliness, exhaustion after a trip, the dullness of factory work, or the impersonal experience that can come with city life.