I gently asked a lady if I could offer her one of my prayer paintings. Her response was to shout at me telling me that she wasn’t interested in what I had to offer and I was harassing her!’ Furthermore she was an atheist and didn’t have any need of what I was peddling!
I’ve had lots of different responses in the past over the years that I have served as a chaplain in the city of Peterborough , this one was up there with the most bizarre! I apologised for disturbing her and explained it wasn’t my intention to upset her and backed away…
The next moment a man asked me if I could help. “Are you a chaplain?” He asked. I sat with him as he asked question after question about what he would need to do when his dad died. His dad was ill in hospital and was expected to die later on in the day.
I was able to lead him through step by step what he needed to expect, speaking from my own experience of my dad’s death six months ago.
What was extraordinary was that I had just painted a picture based on Psalm 23 and all I could think about was it was a funeral Psalm. The man said that our meeting felt like it had been predestined.
As I reflect upon the shouting lady one reaction that I could have been discouraged and sat down with my head down feeling a bit ‘got at.’ Instead I was able to look up and respond to the man who needed help.
Here’s some other paintings I did this morning which I gave to people. All of them didn’t shout at me, but rather were grateful for the gift!