One of the great joys of my life has been to know and be known by Luke Freeman. He and his wonderful wife Natalie, now of Freckled Hen Farm in Arkansas, were a part of our community in Columbia, Missouri for many years. We watched them fall in love, be transformed, serve others, get married, explore their passions, graduate from university, and move into the world to make it a better place.
Luke Freeperson, gouache on paper, 12 by 11 inches. May 2009.
Luke’s grace as a friend and husband, gentle heart of faith and service, and hardworking spirit as a sustainable farmer and agricultural scholar have been huge influences on so many people. I think of Luke’s example often, and hope I can grow to manifest a tenth of his kind acceptance and quiet joy.
In working through the Becoming the Student project, this is the sort of contemplation I want to have – to take a few minutes, an hour, a day – to consider and pay attention to the real presence of others. The painting above was done in a quintessential Luke moment: cutting up vegetables for a meal we’d be taking to a local food pantry to feed 30 or 40 homeless and low-income people. It’s exactly the sort of thing you’ll find Luke and Natalie doing all the time. I’ve had this painting for years and just felt like it fit into the overall theme and structure of Becoming the Student, so I decided to include it.
I love following Luke and Natalie on Instagram (Natalie) (Luke) and keeping up with them via Natalie’s various blogging ventures (natalie creates and tend collective) and shop. You should check them out. And for a profile of their life and work, see this nice article about their photographic endeavors.
Thank you for your example, Luke. I know I’m not alone in appreciating it.