The Goodness of God

When you’re overwhelmed with the goodness of God to you

— you overflow with the goodness of God to others.

                                                               Ann Voskamp

     ~~ Author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

            The goodness of God: those moments in life when we sense that God has a very good, very clear plan and is orchestrating every minute detail from His throne room in heaven. That serendipitous moment when the lives of two friends who haven’t seen each other for years intersect on a street corner at the dawning of a fall day, that chance meeting exploding into “a brilliant idea.”  When two friends who haven’t been in touch for over a year write an email at the exact same time and they cross in cyber space over the Atlantic, both  receiving them on the same day. Those moments when we feel God enfolding us in His arms of love and care. 

            Lee and Betty Knupp were colleagues. They shared a passion for art. Betty taught art history classes through the Anne Arundel Community College, Ginger Cove and at local senior centers for over 25 years. She gave her all and had a strong following of students. Whenever she taught on Impressionism she would invite Lee to come demonstrate and share his life as a fine art painter.

            At the second reception for the Lee Boynton: Light of Life show, a retrospective of Lee’s work at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts last October, Betty approached Margie with her characteristic warm smile and a friendly air of determination, like she had something important to discuss. Margie had been on Betty’s mind for some time. She told Margie she would be turning 70 on her next birthday and felt it was time  to retire from the teaching. She asked Margie if she would be interested in taking over her classes and bus tours. “I will mentor you through this process,” she said, “Don’t worry, I won’t let you fail.” The goodness of God!

            A month after Betty extended this kind offer to Margie, the Community College called Margie. The teacher for 3 ten week classes on painting in watercolor had had a family emergency. They were desperate for a replacement. It turned out the teacher Margie would be replacing was another good friend of ours. Margie was an oil painter, she had never painted in watercolor before. But she had assisted her father with his classes, especially toward the end, and she had his book Painting the Impressionist Watercolor. She said yes, and then dove into teaching herself to paint in watercolor.

         Between the three classes that started on January 3, 2017, Margie had 43 students, me being one. What a great way to start the year!  Both Margie and me saying “YES” to life!  I had set a goal of learning to paint in watercolor so I could use Lee’s paints and paper and now I would be receiving instruction from my daughter as she was donning her father’s teaching mantle. On the first class she humbly explained to her students that she was learning right along with them. Over the ten weeks of the class, I saw Lee’s talent for teaching beginning to blossom in our daughter. I pictured Lee looking down from heaven with a big smile on his face!

            Margie took on Betty Knupp’s teaching mantle this spring. She has been teaching a six week class on contemporary watercolor artists at Ginger Cove and through AACC at the Edgewater senior center. I have attended the class at Ginger Cove. Margie has prepared the material for her classes under Betty’s guidance, covering the work of Audubon, Homer, Saergent, Hassam and others. Last week she featured her father as a notable contemporary watercolor artist. She spoke about how he had pioneered the application of Claude Monet’s theories of color and light to the watercolor medium and showed examples of how he had done this through his work.

            Betty would organize bus tours to art museums in D.C. and other locales based on the contents of her classes. Margie will be leading her first bus tour to the National Gallery of Art in D.C. on May 16. Forty two students have registered for the trip. They will have a special viewing of many of the watercolors Margie has covered in her classes from the archives.

Oh — and good news! My father saw the first hummingbird come to the feeder at Lilac Hill yesterday!

  By Martha Boynton