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The Sketch
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Photo: Gary McCord
I have three sons. They are all adults now, in their twenties or early thirties. The youngest is finishing college. Two are engineers. They were close as they grew up, despite a nine-year age difference between the oldest and youngest. Those two are in the Dallas area. The middle son works in Houston.

The middle son wanted to spend time with his brothers. He took a long weekend to drive up and visit them. It was during the State Fair, so the three of them went, a first time for all – even the ones who lived there.

They did typical State Fair things. (Apparently you can buy fried everything to eat.) Then they passed the caricature booths. The Houston brother was looking to bring something from the State Fair as a gift for his parents. A caricature of the three of them struck him as perfect. It would be unique, personal, and linked to the fair. His brothers agreed.

Soon they were standing in the artist’s booth, as the man began sketching out a color caricature of the three, together. A good caricature artist can knock out a sketch in 10 to 20 minutes. With three to draw, he told them it could take as much as an hour. They did not mind.

The booth was arranged so passer-byes could see the artist work. It is a way to attract business. After the artist had been working a few minutes, someone stopped to watch. Then another person stopped. And another. The longer he worked, the bigger the crowd grew. Some in the crowd started pointing. Others were smiling. Then the artist in the adjacent booth noticed the crowd. She left her booth to see what was going on. She stayed to watch.

Caricature

As the crowd grew my sons started wondering what was going on. My sons were the only ones who could not see the caricature develop. By the time the artist finished, the space behind him was packed.

Finally he showed my sons the drawing. All three laughed when they saw it. It was them.

It showed three grinning young men. They were obviously brothers, sharing the family chin and nose. Yet the artist had also caught their individual personalities. No one who knew them had to wonder which brother was which.

Raising children, guiding them to adulthood where they become independent, ethical, and moral, is the greatest challenge God gives to parents. With great challenge come great rewards. When my son gave my wife and me the original drawing, I realized how blessed the two of us were.

It was obvious why the sketch had drawn a crowd. It not only captured three brothers, but three comrades. Brothers, but also friends, sharing a joyful moment. Men to take pleasure in having raised. As we looked at it, it was if my wife and I heard God whispering, “Well done, good and faithful servants.”

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By Mark N. Lardas. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.


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