I went out at 9:30 this Saturday morning (6-30-12) to paint en plein air and seek the lost. I prefer to start even earlier to capture the long shadows that favor dawn to mid-morning.
My first stop was a swap meet in a parking lot across from Los Angeles City College. The painting didn’t work out very well, nor did the ministry seem especially successful since very few people who stopped spoke English and I spoke very little Spanish. However, just as I was about to leave, an English-speaking Latino saw the painting and said that I should show it to the lady in the ticket booth at the entrance (she was the central figure in the painting). I tried to get out of it since I wasn’t happy with the painting, however she insisted that I show her. So, I did. When she saw it, she smiled and complemented me (in English) on the painting. I thought, ‘She’s just being nice.’ Then I handed a Talent Search tract and told her to read it. She opened it, gave me a big smile and said, “I will.” She then return to her customers. Maybe she’s the reason I was there.
My next stop was the corner of Sunset Blvd. and Western Ave. in Hollywood (painting above). I had pitched my easel near a busy bus stop, so most people were in a hurry. I simply handed them a Talent Search as they passed by. An older grey-haired gentleman had been standing off at a distance watching me paint. Finally he came over. I introduced myself to him and asked him if he liked to paint. He said he didn’t know how, but said that this painting reminded him of his home in Italy.
We had a nice chat about places where we had traveled. Finally, I nudged the conversation toward God. He flowed with me until I asked him about his relationship with Jesus. He reminded me of his Catholic roots. I told him that it didn’t matter that much if he was Catholic, Baptist, or other religion if he didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus. I began to give him scriptures; John 3:16, Romans 10:9,10 and others. When I asked him if he wanted invite Jesus into his life, he balked. Then I did what Luke 14:23 said to do; I compelled him to accept Christ. He did.