I walked with my husband into the art museum exhibit room, the parquet floor squeaking under our feet. The walls were adorned with beautiful images — still life flowers, French impressionist fields, grandiose portraits. But it was the painting of the young mom that impressed me. The beauty of the artwork existed not only in the way that it was painted but that it was painted at all.

Pictured was a small child in a cottage and chickens milling around the yard. They were not the focus of the piece, however. It was the woman in the foreground with fatigued determination in her eyes and a bundle of sticks on her back. Who was she? I will never know. She most likely didn’t have a grand funeral. It’s doubtful that there are buildings named after her or history books mentioning her. But this woman was important enough that a painter in a small French village took up his paint brush and captured her life forever.

How beautiful is it to remember that every life, even one seemingly insignificant is in fact incredibly significant? It was the woman who gave birth to the child — creating life. It was the woman who nurtured her family — sustaining life.

Let’s take a moment on our Lenten journey to remember the all-but-simple lives that have laid the foundations for our own existence and faith.