Ready to Help

How people are stepping up to help each other

A Christmas Story

My friend Kimberley shared this with me.

The school was putting on a Christmas play, and after they told the Bible story of Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem … they picked a little boy to play a  small part and all he had to say to Joseph and Mary when they  came to his door looking for a place to stay for the night was “We have no room here.”

On opening night of the play Mary and Joseph came to his door asking for a place and the little boy  just looked at them and said nothing. The prompter kept giving him the line..”No Room Here”…but the boy kept silent. All of a sudden they noticed a tear rolling down his cheek and again they prompted him “No room here” and suddenly he said “You can sleep in my bed.”

The true meaning of Christmas.

Return to the Gallery

A couple weeks ago my friends and I visited the gallery at Shandong University of Art and Design. The artist and his wife were so gracious and kind. With the help of a student we discussed his paintings. His wife took us to his studio and showed us where he worked.

Before Dragonboat Festival he sent me a text inviting my friends and I to return to his studio because he wanted to give us some paintings. It was hard to believe this offer was real. They’d mentioned it in the gallery, but we thought he was just being nice. He’s a master painter who’s learned from some top painters.

The text convinced us he was serious. We got a bottle of good red wine and proceeded to the studio on Thursday. As is often the case with these meetings in China there was a bit of confusion about where he lived and when we’d be there. In the end that was all worked out.  First the wife welcomed us with cherries from Yantai and tea and soon the artist and his 17 year old son, who speaks very good English arrived. We talked about the son’s trip to Australia and the paintings. My friend Lynne was quite diplomatic and polite about refusing the paintings, which is part of the Chinese ritual. I knew what she was doing, but still got a little nervous about missing this opportunity for some fine art.

In the end he gave us each a traditional ink painting of peonies and birds. It’s stamped (like signing in the West) and everything.

I’m still just stunned. Such kindness and generosity!