Compelled to Paint
I’ve been compelled to paint en plein air on street corners while sharing the love of Christ with curious onlookers since 2001. Often, I will spot an interesting bit of architecture and stop, or return at a later date to paint it. There has only been one time out of the hundreds of locations I’ve painted that I’ve had no visitors at my easel to hear about Jesus or given a Talent Search tract as they passed by. All but one time has at least one person has been within touching distance.
There have been a handful of occasions when I’ve been compelled by the Holy Spirit to go to a particular site to paint. In each of those situations, something supernatural has happened. Usually, someone will invite Christ into their heart at the altar of my easel.
One such time stands out in my mind when I was compelled to go to a certain corner several miles from my home to paint the Magic Johnson Fitness Center. It was very cold that day. The sky was overcast and it looked as though it would begin raining any moment. So I reasoned that I would go the very next time the weather was more suitable. Plus, I felt that I would look foolish standing on a corner painting as cars passed by with windows up and heaters on. I bumped around in my warm studio for nearly 30 minutes hoping the Holy Spirit would understand and resend the order for that day. He didn’t, so I grabbed my kit and drove to the location.
Compelled to Share
With frozen fingers (actually, just very cold), I painted.
Eventually, three teenagers stopped to see what I was doing. With barely an introduction to the gospel of salvation, the three guys were praying with me to commit their lives to Jesus. Between the time they said ‘Amen’ and the time it took me to make the five minute drive home, a deluge of water broke from the clouds. I went back to see if my new brothers in Christ needed a ride, but apparently they had found shelter. I believe God held the rain just for the young men.