Sunday, July 28, 2013

2013.07.28 The Lord's Prayer, Sort Of

When I was in third grade I decided that for my art project I would create an illustrated version of the Lord’s Prayer.  As a young child I was quite fascinated, enamored really, with God for many reasons, not the least of which was that God listened to all my chatter—laments and exaggerations and triumphs alike—when my parents, preoccupied with their Cocktail Hour, did not.  So I suppose my project was a prayer of sorts, or at least a psalm to the God of my heart.

The Lord’s Prayer was the only official prayer I knew at the time and I also remembered that Jesus told his disciples to pray this way when they asked him how to pray (such a dumb question!)  I considered this prayer a big deal and thought Jesus must have written it himself.

The art teacher, Mrs. Schultz, was enthusiastic. She helped me draw God’s sandals, hanging out over a cloud. I used lots of glitter and gold paint for things like GOD, a hallowed name, so unique no one is named God, and AMEN for the end.

Kingdoms were always castles in clouds. Bread was Wonder Bread of course, a whole loaf.

Thy will be done was a puzzle, because God hadn’t exactly told me what to do. Thinking of Jesus with the children in the church window, I settled on a bunch of stick figure children all with bright halos over their heads. At least half the children were girls with triangle skirts.

Trespasses were easy, a sign on a lawn saying NO TRESPASSING. Forgiveness was hard to draw so I just tucked it in— I'm sorry— under the lawn sign and put a little footprint on the lawn.  

I’d once stolen a five-cent pack of gum from a store and later snuck back into the store to put it back. I drew a pack of gum and wrote Wrigley’s on it, which covered temptation and evil.

For power I traced a he-man ad for muscle-building, because a horse was too hard to draw. GLORY had its own page. There was no Jesus in this prayer, even though Christians called it Jesus’ prayer and he taught it.

This is a prayer about God and all the good things God can do.

Mrs. Schultz was very pleased with my work, and my mother’ praise was lavish. Daddy loved it too. 

I knew I wasn’t a very good artist, but it didn’t seem to matter much.