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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Winner of Laketrees Christmas Competition

I was the winner of Kim's Win a Free Portrait for Christmas Competition # 2 over at Laketrees

The subject that I chose was my daughter Laura. Kim painted this from an A4 photograph that I supplied. Kim has been suffering from a frozen shoulder, so this is truly remarkable and the likeness is perfect.

Portrait of Colin's DaughterPhoto of Colin's Daughter

What makes this all the more special is that I found out on my birthday just before Christmas, that I had won this awesome and amazing competition.

The photograph used was taken on my daughter's 15th Birthday in early January.

If you want to see a larger image of the portrait, head on over to Kim at laketrees and click on the image.

Thank you so very much Kim, it is an amazing painting and perfect in detail.

Related Posts:
Win a Free Portrait for Christmas
Kim's Christmas Competition

Posted by Colin aka cotojo

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Sunday, February 24, 2008


We were the only family with a child in the restaurant. I sat Josiah in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Josiah squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. 'Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,' the man said to Josiah. My husband and I exchanged looks, 'What should we do?' Josiah continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi.'

Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, 'Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.' Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.

My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Josiah, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments. We finally got through the meal and headed for the door.

My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. 'Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Josiah,' I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Josiah leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before I could stop him, Josiah had propelled himself from my arms to the man. Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship.

Josiah in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time. I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Josiah in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine.

He said in a firm commanding voice, 'You take care of this baby.' Somehow I managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a tone. He pried Josiah from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, 'God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift.' I said nothing more than a muttered thanks.

With Josiah in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Josiah so tightly, and why I was saying, 'My God, my God, forgive me.' I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes.

I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, 'Are you willing to share your son for a moment?' when He shared His for all eternity. The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, 'To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.' Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important. We must always remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we feel about others.

The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you at all; it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you are.

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