And this is art. Caravaggio left home young, fled after possibly killing another young man in a fight (he was always fighting) and produced this. Considered by some to be the father of realism in painting, he certainly brings to light a profound moment in human history in a totally accessible way. I love the idea that he let his passions get the best of him at times (a lot), but that he produced work accentuating the humanity of his subjects so compassionately. Look at the rosy cheeks of the young saint to be. He actually makes Paul look pretty gorgeous. And what a gorgeous moment it was if you happen to take Christianity seriously. A young zealot off to kill some Christians thrown from his horse, blinded and asked, “Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
Even non-Christians are drawn to redemption stories, second chances and undeserved forgiveness and love. The House on Tenafly Road is about John Weldon’s redemption through his marriage with Katherine and friendship with Simon and it surprised even me (I just put those Biblical quotes in there to make the story seem more period correct). But by the time book two came along I’d been drawn into the Bible and it’s brilliant stories of flawed people and had gone on a missionary trip, coming home with mixed feelings and the idea of a missionary having a chat with William Weldon and his nemesis Buck Crenshaw. My ideas were cynical yet again, but, again my love for Anne of Green Gables-like happy endings and my love for William and Buck forced the book in a different direction. A drunken evening of trouble ends with a bit of a scuffle with some Apache and one young man is knocked from his horse. I like to think he looked something like Caravaggio’s Paul.