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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Art (01/18/07)

TITLE: That Carpenter
By Sally Hanan


“It’s been two years; two years, and I still haven’t found the right face. How can I paint a picture of Jesus when I can’t see His face?” Akiane’s pucker crinkled up the freckles on her nose.

Her mom twirled one of her eight year old’s blonde curls. “Let’s pray about it.” Akiane’s cheeks stretched to accommodate her smile. Grabbing her parents’ hands, she looked up to the ceiling and yelled, “Jesus, we need a model!” She looked back. “I think, this time, we should pray all day.” Marcus nodded in silence, and grasped her hand a little tighter before he let her go. “Yes Sweetie, let’s do that.”

That Saturday, angels gathered to grasp the uttered prayers as they flew out of the Kramariks’ mouths. Love-filled children and adults begged their Father: “Please God; send the right man through our front door.” “Lord, we know that you want Akiane to paint a picture of Jesus; will you find our model and make him want to do it?” "Lord God, help us to know who you want our daughter to model her picture on.” Racing each other to reach heaven’s bowls, the winged servants filled up one particular container throughout the day until it was full.

“O.K., we‘ve prayed enough now.” Akiane got off her knees and went to the fridge door. “I’m starving, Mom…” Meanwhile, a bowl was being carefully tipped over with angels’ hands to pour its contents onto an unsuspecting carpenter…

DRRRING. Akiane ran to the door.

“He wants to talk to you, Mom.”

“Ma’am.” The tall man nodded respectfully. “You needed some woodwork repairs done?”

She shook her head, frowning. “Why, no. I don’t think we called anyone.”

“Mom!” Akiane grimaced, her eyes wide in shock at the thought of losing “Jesus.” Her body sidled up to her mother’s, a hand cupped her ear, and she whispered through gritted teeth, “It's HIM!”

“Oh, oh yes!” She stroked Akiane’s hair. “Sir, I’m sorry; we didn’t call for a carpenter, but we do have a need. My daughter can explain it to you, Please, would you sit down?” She left the room quickly, certain that Akiane’s huge eyes and wide smile would persuade even the hardest heart.

She was right.

Akiane’s singing filled the house for the next few days, interspersed with many prayers. “Lord, let me get it right... Jesus, help me to paint you properly…. God, fill me with what I need to inspire more people to love you….” She stopped occasionally to bend over her little brother and make him laugh, and it was on one of his chuckles that the phone rang.

‘Akiane, it’s for you. I think it’s that carpenter.”

“Hello?” Akiane hooked her hair behind her ear, as if to feel more grown up.

“Hello Akiane…”

Akiane’s hair covered her face as she walked into the kitchen. Hand on the island, she mumbled through her downed lips. “He says that he’s been thinking about this all week, and he’s sorry, but he can’t represent his Master because he isn’t worthy.”

“Oh Sweetheart.” Akiane’s nose was squished into her mother’s prickly sweater. Despite her struggle to breathe, reassurance filled her heart once more. She pushed away from her mom’s embrace and laughed. “We just need to pray again!”

A few days later, the phone rang once more. “Akiane? I tried to argue with God, but I’m sure you know how He is.” Akiane and he smiled together. “I’ll come over and do this, but I must shave off my beard and cut my hair within 3 days after doing it – I don’t want anyone to mix us up!”

No one would have guessed that the carpenter getting his photo taken on the Kramariks’ sofa was going to represent the Creator’s son, yet the air was pregnant with expectation. Every angle of his face, his lines, his wrinkles, his hair – all were captured inside the digital box. Long after he left, Akiane sat holding the printouts, tracing a fingertip over his features as if she were painting them already.

Dozens of sketches filled her pages before she felt ready, but once on the visual boat, her mind drifted easily out to sea.

It took forty hours to fill the huge canvas with the strokes and colors she saw in her mental image, but she eventually finished her masterpiece. It has since brought many to the awareness of the Master’s peace, hence its name,

The Prince of Peace.

“I think God looks at our love. God has everything. He does not need anything except for our love and extended hands.” Akiane

To see Akiane’s painting of Jesus, visit this page: http://www.artakiane.com/paintings/age_08/age08_02.htm

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This article has been read 1361 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mariane Holbrook 01/25/07
Including the link to that absolutely awesome painting was a stroke of genius. Kudos!
Pat Guy 01/27/07
I, for one, can NOT believe this precious child of eight could paint this picture! :) I am so jealous! How awesome!

And to go along with the picture - a precious, sweet, regular ole every day with Christ story.

It was really worth being directed to this story for I thouroughly enjoyed it.

And I loved the voice of the child.
Donna Powers 01/28/07
A wonderful story. I love this girl's name and her determination. The story captured my imagination and WHAT an amazing painting! Thanks so much for sharing your gift and the painting.
Joanne Sher 01/28/07
What an AMAZING story - I love the characterization and WOW is that an amazing painting! Great detail too!
Shari Armstrong 01/28/07
Wonderful!!! (I was hoping there was a painting to go with it. (matter of fact, I think I've seen it before)
Leigh MacKelvey01/28/07
What all the rest said!

and .. my favorite parts of this story were the images YOU painted of the angels gathering the prayers and pouring them out and the girl's thoughts on a boat that floated out to sea. How lovely and creative!

Wonderful writing!
Jan Ackerson 01/29/07
How precious! Great wriitng--you're very versitile. I enjoyed this very much.
Linda Watson Owen01/31/07
Wonderful story! I'm anxiously waiting for the site to be available again. There was a problem when I clicked on the link. I too loved the image of the angels. Just beautiful!
Crista Darr01/31/07
What a picture of great faith - childlike faith! You have shared this amazing story in such a beautiful way. I love how God humbled the carpenter before using him. And he is a carpenter! How cool! The writing is excellent, moving, inspiring.
william price01/31/07
Super, creative, descriptive and inspiring. Great job. God bless.