Now I can’t hide

Van Gogh+

Van Gogh’s Sunset at Montmajour


The headline read, “A previously unknown work by Vincent van Gogh, tucked away in an attic after the French ambassador to Sweden a century ago called it a fake, has been found to be real after all, a landmark discovery worth millions of dollars.”

That story lingers long in my mind.  I want to understand what happened that one man could call a painting a fake, and thereby nullify what really was. A lie that was believed for a century.

I do more research.

Van Gogh’s brother sold the painting, “Sunset at Montmajour,” to an art dealer who in turn sold it to Swedish industrialist, Nicolai Mustad in 1908. No doubt, Mustad was proud of it. He proclaimed he was starting a Van Gogh collection.  Understandably, he prominently displayed the painting in his home where it was noticed by the French ambassador. But after Mustad drew attention to his treasure, the ambassador declared it a forgery. A fake. Worthless. Mortified, Mustad immediately banished the work to the attic, where it remained for a century.

One man’s ignorant comment so devastated this young art collector that he never displayed his prized painting again. It wasn’t worth the chance of further humiliation. It was less painful not to risk. 

But ironically, it was a Van Gogh. It was the real thing. It had value. But Mustad never knew that because he let a critic dictate his opinion of what he had.

I realize why this story holds me.  I am Mustad. One negative comment can change everything for me. I back down from my principles, focus on the negative, obsess about how I fall short.  I hide.

So writing a blog is a risk for me, because I cannot hide. When I put words out there, I cannot take them back.  Even if others disapprove of them. Or of me. I can’t hide them in the attic if I’m rejected.

I welcome your comments. And criticisms. They will stretch me.  If you’d like to read my thoughts on life and faith, please feel free to subscribe. I’d love you to join me on my journey.

  • December 19, 2013 - 5:35 am

    Donna murphy - Vaneetha, I enjoyed this entry and look forward to all the rest!ReplyCancel

    • December 19, 2013 - 8:52 pm

      Vaneetha - Thank you, Donna. I appreciate your support!ReplyCancel

  • December 19, 2013 - 5:53 pm

    Patty Marsh - Vaneetha, I always love your writing and cannot wait for you to write more. Keep going, my sister!ReplyCancel

  • December 20, 2013 - 12:28 am

    RuthAnn Marenyi - Just finished your annual Christmas letter….the highlight of the season every year. Priceless as always. I will be your most faithful follower and biggest fan! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • December 20, 2013 - 1:19 am

      Vaneetha - Thanks RuthAnn! I think you and my mom are my only fans!ReplyCancel

  • December 20, 2013 - 5:49 am

    Sara Hood - I loved reading your entry (and your Christmas letter!) and cannot wait to read more.ReplyCancel

  • December 20, 2013 - 7:00 pm

    Brian - As a fellow blogger, Vaneetha, I think you’ll find the critical comments few and far between. And good news–you can just delete them!ReplyCancel

  • December 28, 2013 - 8:09 am

    Sybil - Love that you are doing this and risking!! Just saw your link from Susan s on FB today / thankful she posted it
    You’ve encouraged me already through these posts! Blessings to you and look forward to reading more.ReplyCancel

    • December 28, 2013 - 12:00 pm

      Vaneetha - Sybil! Its great to hear from you! Thanks for your kind words.ReplyCancel

  • August 17, 2016 - 9:24 am

    Martha W. - Thank you for answering the call to do this blog. I came across it a couple of days ago and I am now searching the archives. I have been so blessed by the articles you write. Your transparency has challenged me to stop hiding my imperfections. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. My short comings will never be bigger than the cross. After all, it’s not about me but all about Him.ReplyCancel

    • August 17, 2016 - 8:34 pm

      Vaneetha - Thank you for writing, Martha. You are so right in proclaiming that our shortcomings will never be bigger than the cross. What an incredible freedom!ReplyCancel

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