Monday, April 7, 2014
Art: He Smiled
Took this painting into work one day to show the man who supplying the wood for me to paint on what I was doing with it. He said he would like one. I asked him the normal questions, what would you like for me to paint for you, do you have a photograph of something special and on and on I went with my questions.
As we were talking another man walked up and said I’d like to have a painting. He is an older man that is probably past retiring age, but cannot afford to retire. He works two jobs. He has also had some severe challenges with his health recently. I asked him my normal questions about what he might like to have painted. He didn’t have an answer for me, but said he would think about it. He did however ask me how much it would cost. I told him we’d talk about it later after he decided what picture he’d like me to paint.
As the days went by he would stop by to say good morning and oil my machine for me, as he had always done. I would ask him if he had come up with any ideas for his painting and he would just look down toward the floor and shake his head, no. Then one day he said to me that he would just like to have something painted by me.
Well, what an invitation to give a painting away. What more did I need than that nudge God gives me. So I began thinking about it.
Just a few days ago, he came by my machine, didn’t speak, didn’t even look up. His head was hanging so low, it was obvious and concerned me, something was wrong. As he made his rounds again later that day, I walked over to him and asked if he was feeling ok. I commented that it was quite obvious something wasn’t right, he wasn’t smiling as he usually did. He just looked up at me, still all slouched over and said, as I looked into his red, sad eyes, “Honey, my self esteem is just about gone, they have just about destroyed it”. I wasn’t sure who, they, were, but it didn’t matter, he was hurt.
I took the painting to work with me again, the one he had already seen and first sparked his interest in wanting one. I told him I’d just like for him to have it, how much he meant to me and how much it would mean to me if he would accept it.
And he just smiled. He took the picture and rode off on his little cart, smiling. Even if the smile is just for a moment maybe that moment will come again and again whenever he looks at my painting.
So this painting is now hanging in the home of a man, I hardly know. But knew enough to know that he needed compassion.
Thank you God for the opportunity and privilege to make someone smile.