Last Fall, I found a pencil sketch in A’s homework folder. It was clear to me that he had drawn a scene of Communion from our church. I could make out the stained glass windows, the host, the chalice, the crucifix. It was pretty neat, actually. So I asked him about it.
“Our art teacher asked us to draw a family meal, Mom. So, you know, of course I thought of the Eucharist right away.”
Oh. Of course.
I mean… really?? At 37, I’d probably still draw, I don’t know, a big roast turkey or something. And here this child hadn’t even yet made his first Communion and he thought of it right away.
I couldn’t help myself… at the parents’ meeting to prep for first Communion, I showed the sketch to our priest. He shook his head in amazement that this eight-year-old child had such depth.
Fast-forward to our Spring conference at the school. The principal tracked us down.
“I have some good news for you, ” she told me. “One of A’s artworks was selected to be featured in an International Art Show. It will be on display at the Maritime Aquarium throughout the summer. And it looks like there will be an artists’ reception in May.”
It turns out A’s work depicting the Eucharist, which he titled “A Loving Feast”, was one of 120 chosen from over ten thousand to represent “Food for Thought. ” The director of the show told us that his piece stood out to them because it was the only one that listed “freedom to pray” as the value being represented.
I’m so proud of that kid. Not because I think he’s some wildly talented child artist– nope, I don’t actually think that had anything to do with his work being chosen. I’m so proud of his profound understanding of both our faith and the privilege that allows him to exercise it.
Now, I don’t want you to think it was all fabulous. I didn’t really enjoy the art reception. I was too busy trying to figure out what was wrong with my boy. I mean… look at him:
There was obviously something wrong!! He refused to divulge any issues and insisted he was fine. I knew he was lying to me, but couldn’t figure it out.
Finally, after the show, he admitted to my husband that his throat hurt. Come to find out, the kid was battling strep. He hadn’t told us because he feared we would have kept him home from the show and, “I really wanted to share my message.”
Sigh. I’m mad at him for lying. And for potentially exposing others to his sickness.
But I must admit…
I’m still proud of him.