When God gets involved
It’s a veritable battle! I parry energetically but the enemy is stubborn and I’m feeling out of my depth. Despite my razor-sharp weapon, I can see no way out…But this is no sword I’m talking about, just a simple pencil, you see, I’m actually just a guy who draws for a living.
I try to update an old sketch, but the guy in the drawing’s having none of it. It doesn’t matter how much I rub him out and try to rework him, there’s always something that’s not quite right! It’s just that perfection is important to me, that’s all!
– Oh Lord help me…
I gaze at the drawing in question: it depicts Jesus, full of compassion, lending a hand to a prostitute and an alcoholic down and out (behind his back, a bunch of ‘religious’ people criticize him… slow handclap, guys!).
I’m lost in my thoughts when the studio’s back door opens and a man walks in unsteadily and comes dangerously close to invading my personal space…
I recognize him, he’s a local painter who has something of a reputation as being ‘jinxed’ (in that he struggles to have his talent recognized).
He sits down at my right hand and looks at my drawing with haggard eyes:
– Bah! Your drawing’s far too fussy – too much going on!
he throws out, before launching doggedly into his ‘critique’ which I receive in tandem with his beery fumes…both of which really suck ! I’ve now got two challenges to take on: the drawing itself and an artist!
Oh well… I get him a coffee.
Four pieces of cardboard
He takes 4 pieces of cardboard from out of his pockets and puts them on the table. They’re of different sizes and all are the shape of a rectangle:
– This represents my life!
He flourishes the largest piece of cardboard:
– I want to give 60% of my life to God!
He then points to the smaller pieces:
– This means I need to cut back my painting time to 20%. I’m keeping 10% of my time for doing things around the home (like doing the laundry) and the other 10% is for… (I’m sorry, but I can’t remember what he said here… I know, I know, it’s pretty dumb of me, but that’s what happened).
I was touched by this man’s inner being. Contrary to all appearances, he too is longing for the spiritual. I see him in a different light now, and I look warmly at him…
The 5th element
I grabbed a piece of cardboard that was bigger than any of his:
– Look, Xyzwhg (not his real name)… let’s say this piece of cardboard is God, ok? I gather up all his little bits of life (the little pieces of cardboard) and place them on God (the large piece of cardboard)… (ok ? Do you get me?)
– When you paint, paint for Him (like I try to do), make every painting an act of praise and a shout for joy that you can offer up to Him. And hope that the public would be touched by your paintings when they see them.
When you do your laundry, do it for Him so that when He visits you, your house smells good and your guests feel welcomed.
Your ‘whatwasitagain’, do it for Him, that way your empty ‘ dunnos ’ will instead be spaces filled with God… whatever you’ve got left, talk to Him about it…
‘Being’ is more important than ‘doing’ (because without a relationship with God, only death awaits). In short, whatever you do, let it be inspired by love!
Wow! The painter is stunned (suddenly stone cold sober!) as am I. Yikes! Did I really say all of those things?!…
Xyzwhg left the studio, diving deeply into his thoughts. I was pensive too, as I sat back down before my drawing…
I called on God to help me and He brought my drawing to life in front of me… (Luckily I hadn’t been drawing a three-headed dragon!) Just like the religious people in my picture, I’d started off by despising my neighbor… In the end, I got the better of my drawing! How?
It was really very simple:
I took the painter’s ‘critique’ and did every little thing he’d suggested…