Keeping the Lamp Burning

Keeping the Lamp Burning

Keeping the Lamp Burning came to me as a reference to waiting for a loved one to return. It is a reference to Vincent van Gogh who wrote, ”

“Perhaps it will seem to you that the sunshine is brighter and that everything has a new charm. At least, I believe this is always the result of a deep love, and it is a beautiful thing. And I believe people who think love prevents one from thinking clearly are wrong; for then one thinks very clearly and is more active than before. And love is something eternal–the aspect may change, but not the essence. There is the same difference in a person before and after he is in love as there is in an unlighted lamp and one that is burning. The lamp was there and it was a good lamp, but now it is shedding light too, and that is its real function. And love makes one calmer about many things, and in that way, one is more fit for one’s work.”

Having experienced the deep love that van Gogh wrote of, I can embrace his thoughts and I will be Keeping the Lamp Burning in my heart.

Today, people use the phrase, “Keep the light on!” and it has been used by most to mean, “I will be waiting for your return,” or “keeping up the hope“.

The phrase first appeared in the bible in Luke 12:35, “Let your waists be girded about, and your lamps burning”. Most likely it was a reference to the fact that shepherds carried oil lamps to “not lose their way in the darkness” as they checked on their flock. Or, in another context of those times, servants were expected to “keep clothed and a lamp burning to be in readiness” for the masters return late at night.

However, the biblical references were and have been interpreted to surely mean, “to be guided in the ministration of the Gospel, which should be kept clear and bright, and good works, becoming them, that should so shine before men, that all may see them, and glorify God.” and yet others have taken the passage to mean, “to keep the lamp of burning in readiness for the second coming.”

Much later, sailors and fishermen’s wives would “keep a candle burning in the window, to guide their mates back” from their journeys.

I have a very good friend who also happens to be an artist, Sam Yeates, who has a long running series of paintings that from the vantage of a country home with a winged angel waiting at the window or on the porch on her lover, whose car headlamps can be seen approaching from a distance. The resemblance or reference to Sam’s painting escaped me until I had finished the painting it hung on the wall for several weeks. Now, I must ask him if his series has a much deeper meaning that I had at first thought.

Keeping the Lamp Burning
Acrylic on Quality Museum Gallery Wrapped Canvas
Measuring 120 cm high x 100 cm wide (47.25 in high x 39.37 in wide)

$3,725 USD (Sold)