An Outline of a Painting
Doug discovered a line drawing of a cat waiting to pounce on mouse who lurked behind him . . . or her.
Two grandkids made suggestions for adding details.
Then, I channeled my inner Matisse, adding adventuresome goldfish, and added a falling lime; which became my title for this painting. NOTE, I did not follow one granddaughter’s suggestion to paint the little loaded mousetrap in front of the hole in the wall! And I have done it three times!
Hopefully, the mouse escapes into the hole, and lives another day to taunt the cat.
Kind friends suggested the finished product might be a cover for a children’s book.
I got to thinking — what would the story be?
A Plot Line from a Drawing
Growing up I loved a book of line drawings— If Jesus Came to My House; they left an impression, and helped to tell story that has stuck with me for a really long time: Jesus makes house calls.
But what simple story could my colorful fantasy based on a line drawing tell that would maybe be useful to kids of all ages? And not depressing or scary?
Frankly, all three generate anxiety in me — anticipating the noise and mess!
How do we talk to kids about anxiety without stoking the flames or pretending some challenges aren’t very real?
I welcomed Frederick Buechner’s wry wisdom the other day on that very topic: ANXIETY
“HAVE NO ANXIETY about anything,” Paul writes to the Philippians. In one sense it is like telling a woman with a bad head cold not to sniffle and sneeze so much or a lame man to stop dragging his feet. Or maybe it is more like telling a wino to lay off the booze or a compulsive gambler to stay away from the track. . .
Then he asks, apropos of the painting :
. . . Since the worst things that happen are apt to be the things you don’t see coming, do you think there is a kind of magic whereby, if you only can see them coming, you will be able somehow to prevent them from happening? Who knows the answer?
Rev. Buechner concludes, reminding readers whatever hits— anticipated or unexpected:
We are as sure to be in trouble as the sparks fly upward, but we will also be “in Christ,” as [Paul] puts it. Ultimately not even sorrow, loss, death can get at us there.
Oh! This is the best of all plot lines: the comfort God doesn’t forget us when the unexpected falls in our day, no matter what!
Like the little child in If Jesus Came to My House, open the door when Jesus knocks. And if you don’t hear any knocking— go looking: He will find you.
I think I’ll keep painting — grateful for you who read through to this little nugget:
You are only one part, but an integral part of God’s mosaic. (Daily Walk, page 237)