Learning to Trace

The Zoo Cage Prophet

 

Last updated 10/12/2014 at 8:17pm

Indian Life files

"You do a great job at tracing this picture off the master. But to do this you must follow each line, curve, turn, and twist the master has to offer...If you decide to not follow the master's perfect lines, the result will be a mess, and not like the master."

I could see he was sad, almost depressed. He wore it heavy on his eyes. Even his walk indicated that not all was well.

I didn't know much about who Max was. Although I would see him almost daily, I had never really had a real conversation with him. However, I did know two important facts about Max: he was a believer in Christ, and he wasn't much of a talker. So it was a surprise to me when he walked up to me and tried to sell me a greeting card.

"I didn't know you draw!" I said with genuine interest, as I looked at the two cards he was selling.

"Not much of an artist, more like a good tracer." Most card sellers are tracers, but they don't admit it. It was bold of Max to admit he was a tracer and not worry that he might lose the sale.

He was right. He was a good tracer; actually a very good tracer. Both cards looked freehand and there was no indication they were traced. I was impressed and decided I would buy both cards from him, even though I didn't need them.

"I'll take both." I held them up and gestured with my other hand how much, by rubbing my fingers together. I expected the price to be $3 to $4 per card, for this was normal pricing around here.

"Two bucks for both and...." He stopped mid-sentence. I waited to see if he wanted to adjust his price. Two dollars was a great price, so there had to be something else he wanted in exchange.

"And what else?" I finally asked, since he never finished his sentence.

"Nah, just two bucks," he answered. I didn't believe him, so I questioned him again.

"Well, I'll gladly pay you the two dollars, but is there anything else I can do for you? It's only fair; you are giving me a great price."

"Yeah, can you teach me how to do God's will better?" The sad, almost depressed look in his eyes now came out. This is what was bothering him. But this was a hard question. Sure, there are hundreds of Christian-ese answers I could have given him. But I was sure he had heard them all already.


Gulp. I really didn't know if a deep theological answer would be appropriate, or an Adrian-style answer. I didn't know Max well enough to make a good decision. So with a quick prayer (in my heart) I decided an Adrian-style answer would do.

"Having some issues following God's will, huh? I think we all struggle with that. It's much easier to follow our own wills. But when we do we make a huge mess of our lives." I knew I had his full attention. I was pretty sure he was ready for my Adrian-style answer so I dove right into it.


I looked at the two cards in my hands and used them to help me explain further. "You do a great job at tracing this picture off the master. But to do this you must follow each line, curve, turn, and twist the master has to offer. I am assuming you placed the master underneath the blank paper, and then you carefully traced. If you decide to not follow the master's perfect lines, the result will be a mess, and not like the master."

I wasn't even finished with my answer when Max's eyes perked up. "Oh, that's it! That's the answer!" He said this with great excitement, then simply walked away.

Um ... hello. I wasn't done yet.

I let him go and decided to see how he was doing days later when I took him his two dollars. Praise be to God, Max still had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eyes. Max is still not much of a talker, but he no longer looks sad or depressed.

It's not easy following God's will. But if you and I take the Word as our Master example and align it to our everyday lives, we should be able to follow His will with less fight.

... learning to stay within the lines ...

Adrian G. Torres.

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