Two nights this week, I sketched people at functions at a couple of our Baptist churches. Bogue Chitto Baptist Church, perhaps 70 miles north of North Orleans, packed their fellowship hall with children of all ages Wednesday night. I drew them for an hour before church and nearly that long afterwards. In between, I preached a revival sermon, then sketched and colored pictures for the four adults who had brought the most people to the services.
Friday night, Metairie Baptist Church held a block party in their parking lot and asked me to join the fun. Surrounded by balloon artists and food stalls and inflated playthings and crowds of people, I drew for nearly three hours. To my left, people at a table were handing out free Bibles. To my right, at the balloon table, a man could be heard going over the plan of salvation at various times.
In between, I was drawing. Trying to give people a little treasure from their visit to this church.
Occasionally I’m asked, “How many people have you drawn over the years?” With no way of knowing, I just pick a number. “Maybe a hundred thousand.” No doubt the real number is a lot less, but again, there’s no way of telling. A lot, that’s for sure. Especially when you consider that this all got started when Mom was exasperated with her preschoolers getting in the way of her housework and gave three-year-old Carolyn and five-year-old Joe pencil and paper and sat us down at the kitchen table. Soon I was off and running. I had found my calling. Sort of.
Sitting there tonight in the parking lot, looking really silly wearing a balloon hat the guy at the next table had fashioned for me and with a line of children and parents stretching out in front, I was struck again by several lessons about people that are reinforced everytime I do this.
1. Everyone is different. Way different. No two are alike. Not even twins.
2. Everyone is alike in many ways. Two eyes, one nose. The things they say.
3. Everyone is beautiful. In some ways, to some extent.
4. Everyone looks better smiling. But try to convince some people of that.
4. Everyone is curious as to how others see them.
5. Everyone is a little insecure about the way they look. If we could, we would all change something about our appearance.
I sound like a broken record (remember those?) after a while, with the comments I make to the person across the table, whom I occasionally refer to as “my victim.”