Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Portrait of People Pleasing Me

Are you a people pleaser? Me, too. I mean, if you want me to be. :0)

I am always trying to allow the Lord to teach me to please Him only. It's difficult. I want to be liked.

This is a essay/poem/scene (I don't know what to call it) that I wrote a while back. I hope you like it. But if you don't, well, that's fine. Really. :0)

Portrait of People Pleasing Me

HE is a great painter. 

He sees my portrait,

even as the canvas is blank.
          He begins.

          I say, “Use red.”
          He says, “No, not red.”
          “But,” I say, “I like red.”
          “Okay.”  He paints with the red.
          I choose green as the next color.
          He says, “No green right now.”
          “But that writing magazine says green.  So does Publishers Weekly.”
          “Okay,” and he paints with the green.
          He chooses blue next.
        “No painter, no blue next.  That editor I met at the writing conference? She says it’s time for orange.”
          He shrugs and uses the orange.
          After a bit, I say, “My agent says brown.”
          Without a word, the painter takes the brown and paints.
          I decide to sneak a peak.
          “Wow, that’s me!” I say. 
          “Yes.”  He says.
          “It’s beautiful,” I say.  “You’re good, but something’s missing.  Don’t you think?”
          The painter looks at me and smiles.
          “Uh-huh.”  He says.
          “What is it?” I say.
          But I cut him off from answering.  I go and ask my husband, critique partners, writing group. They’ll know.
          I bring back three pints of white, pink and purple.
          He takes the paints and sets them down.  Then he hugs me.  He tells me he loves painting my picture.  He tells me I am beautiful.
          I blush and say, “Okay, but it’s still missing something, so use these colors.”
          He takes the white, pink and purple and he paints.
          I look at it again.
          “It’s nice.  It’s me.  But something’s missing.  I don’t know what.  Do you?”
          He doesn’t say anything.  I think He is waiting to see if I will answer my own question. 
          Finally he says, “I know what’s missing.”
          “You do?”
          He smiles gently, warmly and he says, “Me.”
          “What?”  I say.  “But you’re doing the painting.  You’re in control.”
          “Am I?”  He says.
          It occurs to me that it is time to let him pick the colors.
          It is time to please his vision.
          Not mine.
          Not anyone else’s.
          I say, “Paint, painter, do your thing.”
          A twinkle comes to his eye and he gets busy.
          It’s fun to watch.
          After a while, he calls me over and shows me the portrait.
          “Wow!” I say.
          The portrait is beautiful.  Nothing is missing.
          “That’s how you see me?”  I ask him.
          “That’s how you are. And are becoming.  And will be.”


Jan Parrish said...

Love this. It's even more powerful when you're reading it.

RumorsOfGlory said...

Oh Robbie, this makes me cry.

Megan DiMaria said...


Niki said...

I love this too. It's very inspiring and such a gentle reminder to all of us writers. Thank you for sharing it!

Niki said...

Such a beautiful reminder to all of us writers. Thank you for helping us grow! :)

Marla said...

I loved hearing this poem at the WFTJ evening at Barnes & Noble last week. You did a magnificent job keeping us laughing and thinking about the Courage of our Calling... marla

Cheryl Barker said...

What a great illustration, Robbie. So many voices out there. What a good reminder to listen for the One that matters above all.

Unknown said...

I so love this!