I looked back at some old train trip photos that I took just over three years ago and painted one of them. This was painted only with the same two watercolors from the last post– an old tube of genuine manganese blue from Holbein and a tube of natural red Sartorius earth from Rublev.
This is the Colorado river in the Rocky Mountains. A couple of weeks ago I passed through here again, with much more snow than in this photo, and besides many dozens of deer and elk I briefly saw a mountain lion right in the middle of the frozen river a very short distance from this same scene. Too bad I didn’t have a camera that time. That was the first time I had ever seen a live one in person and I really didn’t expect it so it was very surprising.
Immediately after the initial surprise I remembered a thought I had a long time ago that there’s so many amazing things that happen everywhere in the world all the time without anyone ever seeing them. We can have faith that they’re there because we believe the testimony of other people about these far away places or elusive animals, even if we haven’t seen those things personally. It’s in a similar way that we believe the written record about God. When Jesus was speaking with Thomas, who had refused to believe that Jesus was alive again until he saw proof, Jesus said “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29, NIV) I felt like my faith was strengthened as I thought about that while accepting that there’s still far more amazing things I haven’t seen but yet are there.