Once upon a time, there was a wealthy man, very well known and admired in his province. He was older in years, yet not quite expired. He left his workforce in order to do more of the things he enjoyed.
This man also had a son whom he loved exceedingly above all his glorious earthly spoils. His son, though simple in both appearance and speech, possessed a heart ‘made of gold’. He had accompanied his Father throughout his career, and many people knew him for his goodness going beyond the boundaries of common courtesy necessary for being a professional, thus furthering his Father’s acceptance to the crowds.
While walking the halls of his lovely home, this man, known as Gary, became aware of the paintings and portraits that adorned his home. Landscapes of the mansion and gardens lined the walls of the family room, while portraits of his fathers gone before paralleled the hall, and a portrait of himself as a youth hung nobly in the entrance, proclaiming him to be the Master of the estate.
Upon examinations of these masterpieces, his intrigue soon had him ensconced in a small room on the topmost floor, surrounded by paint, brushes, canvas, and all things a new aspiring artist did not truly know the depth of. His first inspiration was a plain coffee mug, Simple enough to depict, an ordinary object that brought memories of his days in business. He painted his memories, his favorite flowers and trees, toys from his childhood, his fears, his triumphs. His values found their way into each and every awkward painting. The end results brought him joy. The inelegance of his first paintings brought guffaws of laughter. His pleasure in his new found hobby increased as his skills improved by studying new techniques.
His paintings piled up, making a small space even smaller. He decided it was time to let them go. One buyer bought the whole lot of them. This buyer turned out to be a shady character and was soon discover to have modified all the painting to his own interpretation, while using the signature of a sincere man of wealth and renown to sell his agenda.
The generally gentle artist, Gary, was enraged. He quickly recalled all of these pieces, advertising to all of the buyers to either return these paintings and be reimbursed or paint a likeness of his son over the defiled canvas. He destroyed the appalling works that had been wrought over the creations of his own hands and heart. Some brought him demeaning portraits that mocked his sons simplicity, or harsh portraits that bore little to no resemblance of his precious son. These he destroyed with no remorse or reimbursement for the callous customer.
But there were a few who seemed to consider his son as he was, they captured the love in his eyes, the smile at his mouth, or the kindness of his pose. And while not perfect, they captured the true essence of his son. These, he embraced. These buyers were rewarded far beyond the price they had paid for the defiled canvas.
In Honor of Irma, who painted the portrait of Christ upon the canvas of her life. And while not perfect, it was an incredible likeness, and His beauty became a part of her identity.
I will always remember her for her kindness and her acceptance of me. Her wit and vibrant life will always inspire me to do more and be more.
An original story by Lisa Schrock
Note: One of the worst things for me, as a creative writer and a person who thinks in parables, is that I seriously do not know if people ‘get’ my stories. This is the first I have shared online. I do not know what it will mean to you, but I know what it means to me.