Dancing Auntie –
It has on my mental list to paint Aunt Dee’s church. “Who is Aunt Dee?” you might ask. Aunt Dee is my wife’s 91 year old relative. Aunt Dee is Aunt Dee to her relatives, but she is also Aunt Dee to everyone who meets and gets to know her. Aunt Dee is also a ‘mother of the church’; a true matriarch. You’ll find her at almost every church function, wedding and family funeral. And wherever you find her, you’ll find her dancing unto the Lord. Yep, Aunt Dee isn’t about to get old.
Back to the painting. I’ve been in Aunt Dee’s church at least a half a dozen times and have driven by it dozen’s more. However, when I went to paint it today and (more importantly) to share Christ with people on the streets, I discovered the building lacked any interesting character. To get an idea of how plain it is, look at the yellowish building on the far right of this painting. That’s the west side of the church. The street-facing front looks much the same except it has a door. Fortunately, the house next to Aunt Dee’s church was dripping with character, so I chose it to paint.
I pitched my easel across from the house on Orange Grove Boulevard and near a recycling center. I knew I was in a good spot because many people visit recycling centers to exchange their plastic goods and bottles for a little cash. Some of those come in vehicles, others enter pushing shopping carts and baskets filled with recyclables. I would be there for the later.
My first visitor was a man missing his front teeth. He peddled his bicycle up next to me and asked to see my painting. “Of course,” I replied. When he saw it, he said, “Wow, I could never do that.” “Thanks. It’s a gift of God. What gift did God give you?” I asked. “I got some real weird ones. But I’m not with God right now,” he answered. There followed an exchange between us about why I said he should get his life right with the Lord now and why he said he wasn’t ready. After he rode off, I thought, ‘That’s a dangerous place for anyone to be, especially for someone as old and seemingly in frail health as he appeared to be.
In Other Tongues
I passed out Talent Search tracts to others who passed by. As I was about to leave, an elderly man pushing a shopping basket slowly approached. When I handed a tract, he smiled and said something in Spanish. I didn’t understand him so I said, using the few words of Spanish I know, “Es de Jesus.” He said some other things in Spanish while pointing to the tract. I understood, ‘mi casa’. So I figured he might possibly be saying that he would have someone read it to him when he got home. I then remembered that I had printed some cards with a prayer of salvation in Spanish. I gave it to him and said, “Tiene Jesus en su corazon?” He smiled, nodded yes then went on his way.