The artist, the picture, and true love’s prayer

A man, married for many years, finally was divorced.  He was left heartbroken from years of pain and anguish.  In the waning months, he began to pray that his true love would someday be delivered.  After the divorce, he devoted himself to his truest of loves:  art.

He wrote but also made pictures. 

Landscapes, scenes of friends, and buildings, all the while praying that he would meet his true love and that he would find happiness and joy.  He worked everyday, feeling stronger and stronger, until one day he felt confident enough to take his work to some art festivals to sell.

He sold a few pictures at each festival, just enough to pay his expenses.  Each night, he prayed for his true love and that she would be delivered to him.  Finally, after months and months of prayer and no answer, he forgot to pray the night before a show, exhausted from the trip.

That day was like any other.  The festival was lively, vendors with their wares and the smell of food everywhere.  The artist sat in his booth, working on a picture of two people sitting together holding hands.   His mind was so focused on the work that he didn’t notice a customer.

“Excuse me, but how much for this?”

He looked up, and couldn’t believe his eyes.  A old friend from years ago, a woman whom he had feelings for, stood in front of him.  She was as beautiful as ever, and seeing her sent his heart soaring.  Still, he was nervous, and attempted to brush her off.  “I’m sorry, ma’am. You can’t afford it.”

The woman was quite surprised by this.  “how do you know?”

The artist had an interesting answer.  “tell ya what.  Let’s talk it over.”

They found a coffee shop sat down and talked.  For the next two hours, they caught up on life.  They were amazed at how much each other had changed but still had certain things in common.  In some ways their lives went in opposite directions, while in others they were nearly identical.  They had picked up where they left off years ago, different people from then, but never missing a beat.

Finally, she asked him again.  “So, how much for that picture?”

He shook his head yet again. “I told you.  You can’t afford it.”

The woman was baffled.  “Good grief.  What on earth could the price be?”

He took her hand in his and said.  “This, in marriage.”

The woman was stunned and began to tear up.  She explained that it was the most romantic thing ever done for her.  Then she kissed him on the cheek and nodded.  “That’s a small price to pay for two things so beautiful.”

Now it was the artists turn to be puzzled “two things?”

“Yes,” she beamed.  “The picture and the artist.”

The artist smiled and they walked, hand in hand, back to his tent.  Another man stood there, examining the picture of the two people the artist was working on, then noticed them.  “I recognize these two people.”

“Impossible,” the artist said.  “I just made this today.  Who are they?”

The man was adamant. “You two.  I saw you both holding hands just now in the coffee shop.”

At that moment, just when it seemed things couldn’t be more coincidental, the woman remembered something.

“You know it’s funny,” the woman said.  “I prayed every day to have my true love sent to me, but I forgot to pray last night.”

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