Upon noticing Wyeth, a young lady wiped her eyes and re-did her auburn ponytail. She went to the bicycle but didn’t get on to ride. Instead, she looked back at him and then at the chapel.
Wyeth stopped short of a groan under his breath and waved back at her politely. Now, he was stuck talking about the painting, and maybe about the whole island once she asked him who he was. His stomach was growling for the late lunch he knew Maggie Jane was keeping for him.
The young lady walked the bike over to his easel. “Excuse me, sir, but are you painting the chapel?”
“Yes, ma’am. Nice day for a bike ride. Hope you’re enjoyin’ the island.”
“Oh, yes, it is, and I am. I’m here with my aunt, as a companion to help her this summer. She’s a writer. We leave tomorrow, so I asked for the afternoon to roam around. May I see your painting?”
Wyeth stepped back. “Sure.”
The young lady pushed down the kickstand on the bike and came over to look at the picture. Then, she brought her hands to her mouth. After a few moments she asked, “Is that what it looked like out here while I was praying?”
“I’ll never be able to capture it the way it really was.”
“I knew it! At first, I pleaded for what I want, for a sign, or something Jesus could do to help me make the right decision. After so long in the chapel, feeling like my prayers were only hanging out around me, I told Him I’d go His way, if I could only see it. After a while, I didn’t know what else to say to Him except that I love and trust Him, whatever the outcome. He hears us, I know that by faith. But it didn’t feel like He was there.”
Her ponytail swished as she turned to Wyeth. “He was out here, with you!”
Wyeth stared at the painting to see how she’d come up with that idea, then he looked up at the building. The light had already changed. “Ma’am, Christ is omniscient and omnipresent. He’s with you and me at the same time.”
“Were you praying, too?”
His expression was her answer. “Yes, you were. What did you pray for?”
Wyeth shifted his weight to the other leg. “The same thing. It’s a universal condition, what we’re seeking. In the end, even if we don’t get what we want, we trust in the right outcome. Some of the most solid people I know are the ones who had bad outcomes and grew from the experience.”
She looked back at the painting and whispered, “He was here. His presence is so clear in this painting.”
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