Thursday, August 07, 2008

four years and counting

It's strange how we measure time. Certain events come and go and they cause me to stop and look backward. This drawing was done four years ago. It is of a friend of mine who comes and goes from one side of the planet to the other doing missionary work. Like the military, the parent organization that had sponsored my friend and his family would sign them on for four year hitches. They just came back to the states on their "leave" or furlough, and life will be changing for them as well. That might be the last four solid year hitch, I don't know... but the work continues and the travel will go on. While my friend was gone, my son was incarcerated, my older daughter went to college and the baby finished high school. While he was gone life changed for us in so many ways I can scarcely remember the person I was drawing this portrait those years ago.

I do remember the first time we met. He accepted a pastorate in our town in Northeastern PA, and he's from the South. It was strange, but not so, to hear the accent and realize this person from an entirely different culture basically would change my life. Sometimes the people we think we have the least in common with wind up being the ones who make the strongest impression. The lessons I took away from the few short years he was here I've never forgotten. Innovate. Believe beyond what you know. Go to the people-don't wait for them to come to you. Be daring, be courageous. They were. They went to the Balkans in the mid-nineties, which wasn't the safest place in the world to be. The impact this family has had on that region and continues to have is incalculable.

I just remember a big man with a big voice and big ideas for a little town. I don't think he's changed much in that respect, and maybe now I get it.

3 Comments:

Blogger ~:*:*:Pixie:*:*:~ said...

What a beautiful sentiment... I hope you share this with him. I think it would mean the world.

<3

1:35 PM  
Blogger Sue O. (aka Joannie, SS) said...

Thanks.

9:01 AM  
Blogger thinkinkmesa said...

Beautiful piece.
(The art and the text)

12:13 AM  

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