The Girl I Left Behind Me (1886)

The Girl I Left Behind Me is an 1886 painted by Randolph Caldecott. It is peppered with little clues that help the viewer decipher the story suggested by the painting's rather ambiguous title. There is the girl's half-turned face, the woman's hand on her back, pushing her on, the gate almost, but not quite, closed. The conclusion of the story is implied by the caddish soldier's reluctance to call out, and the clear view of the 'less noble end' of the horse, hoof raised, ready to leave. The ‘girl’ is evidently from a respectable home, and has likely been rescued from a potentially disastrous courtship with this Sergeant Troy-like figure. The girl may look melancholic, but the viewer is urged to sigh relief on her behalf. The soldier is the one who, perhaps years later, recalls this melancholic scene. Regrets and remorse, perhaps, but the girl was better off without him. 

How often the Lord denies our desires, curtails our opportunities and denies our prayer requests, knowing that it is for our ultimate good. The Lord does not always grant you what you request- He is too kind and loving to do that.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts". Isaiah 55:9