Are You a Potato Eater?

The Potato Eaters by Vincent Van Gogh

It's a pitch dark night with no moonlight or street lamp to be seen through the windows. Inside this poor, sparsely furnished house lives an extended family. The functional kerosene lamp sheds just enough light to highlight the food and the faces. All we can see on the table is a plate of potatoes and the coffee cups.

No one is smiling. No one is talking. The wife is looking at her husband but he stares straight ahead. Grandpa looks at grandma but she methodically attends to her pouring. Curiously, no one has their own plate. They reach blindly with their forks to a common plate piled with boiled potatoes, the sustenance of the poor.

Jesus Christ said that He came that we would have and enjoy life. He came to give us life -- life that would be so full that it would overflow (John 10:10). So what's wrong here? Why is there so much poverty and darkness? Could this be a picture of man without God? Man that is just existing?

There is a fifth person in this picture. She stands with her back to us almost unnoticed even though she's in the center of the picture. It's their child. She doesn't wear the working bonnet of her mother and grandmother. She stands with a halo around her. She still has a window of time to observe and ask some questions.

I believe she represents you and I as we observe people around us. Do we want to spend our lives in poverty? Do we want to live in dimly lit places with darkness all around? Do we want to work and live with others that aren't relating to us? Will we be satisfied with a life that boils down to a common plate of potatoes? I hope this child's answer and our answer will be "NO!" to everyone of those questions.

The Bible says that God is light and in Him is no darkness. He is the way out of any spiritual poverty and darkness that we may live in. He is also the way through our physical poverty. One of the Hebrew names for God was El Shaddai. It means He (God) is our supplier. He is our "more than enough" God. You don't need to choose to be a potato eater. Instead you can choose to eat from the Bread of life.

"I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me shall not hunger and he who believes in me shall not thirst." John 6:35

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