Thomas Kinkade: Light dissipating at night

A seemingly tranquil life can be very stormy indeed.

First impressions are not always as they seem.

Perfect people are never quite so perfect.

Smiles often hide pain.

The following brief article was published by the Associated Press on May 8, 2012.

SAN JOSE, Calif. –  An autopsy has found  that artist Thomas Kinkade’s death was caused by an accidental overdose of  alcohol and prescription tranquilizers.

NBC Bay Area News reported Monday that the Santa Clara County medical  examiner concluded that the self-described “Painter of Light” stopped breathing  at his Northern California home on April 6 from a combination of alcohol and  Valium.

Before his death, the 54-year-old Kinkade produced sentimental scenes of  country gardens and pastoral landscapes that he sold in a nationwide chain of  galleries.

In recent years, however, he had run into personal difficulties, including a  2010 bankruptcy filing by one of his companies.

His brother has said Kinkade battled alcoholism and relapsed before his  death.

A judge last month issued a restraining order against a former girlfriend  that prevents her from talking about the late painter.

Sad, eh?

As Jodi and I became familiar with Thomas Kinkade, we learned that he included at least two things in every painting–the initial of his wife and a cross.  You might want to see if you can locate a cross in the Sea of Tranquility painting above.  We have a 24×36 Standard Numbered print of it hanging on our living room wall.  I fell in love with the image  at first sight, preferring it to the scenes which made Kinkade a household name.  The painting reminds me of the calm after the storm, that no matter how tough today might seem, beauty is on the horizon.  Isn’t that also the message of the empty cross Thomas painted on his canvases?  The cross is empty.  For that matter, so also is the tomb.  However, the throne is indeed occupied!  Therein lies my hope as the light dissipates at night.  Sadly, Thomas turned to alcohol and prescription drugs.  By God’s grace, I am  turning to Christ.  Trust me when I say that during one period of my life I did turn to alcohol and illegal drugs to find the elusive contentment–the peace of mind–I was so desperately seeking.  But it was not until God invaded my life and I came face-to-face with the person and works of Jesus Christ that I truly experienced that which I very much needed–peace with God and contentment in life.  It grieves me to learn that Thomas Kinkade painted peaceful scenes yet battled such turmoil within. The call of the Savior from Matthew 11:28 has never been rescinded. It is as true today as when He spoke it: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

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