I think the painting shows an old and weary man being comforted by anointing oil relaxing him, soothing him — and in the same way God’s Spirit, when unquenched, can loosen our unbelief and soften our hard hearts to help us give grace and truly love one another. Recently I have felt betrayed by one who I felt I had loved well, but I absolutely know Satan wants to use this to divide the body of Christ. So I need His Spirit to fall over me and soften my heart, help me see this person as He does, and to love well.

Nude Old Man in the Sun by Mariano Fortuny y Marsal
Mariano Fortuny y Marsal (Spanish, 1838–1874), Nude Old Man in the Sun, ca. 1871. Oil on canvas, 76 × 60 cm. Museo del Prado, Madrid.

“Aaron’s Beard” by Eugene H. Peterson

. . . running down the beard,
Upon the beard of Aaron . . .

—Psalm 133:2

Aaronic blessings
Run down my red beard
Refracting sun warmth
In oil ooze
Ironic curses
Flecks of stubborn rust
Corrosive unbelief
Cynic stuff.