Unfinished Portrait

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I started this portrait of Allan Vivona in the last two weeks with the hope that I’d be able to show him how much I appreciate his investment in my life before he went to be with Jesus.

That didn’t happen. I was planning on showing him Tuesday, but he started living in heaven on Monday.

It’s unfinished, but I wanted to post it now because of his recent death. A lot of tribute has been given to him on Facebook. This is mine.

The picture is from my wedding reception. I love the fedora- such a part of Pastor Vivona’s look- and the gentle expression. He was such a kind, godly man.

I’ve harassed many pastors with questions of faith and doctrine in my life, but I think Pastor Viviona got it the worst, because I pestered him at Pinebrook Bible Conference when he was supposed to be on vacation! With out fail, every year I’d set up a counseling session with him, and he and his wife would graciously give me one of the afternoons of their rest.

I didn’t spend much time with him outside of Pinebrook, but those times were very important and helped mold me as a person and follower of Christ. I wish I could have expressed to him how much those times meant, but words didn’t seem strong enough. I knew he loved art and had meant this portrait to be my “thank you.”

I still have work to do on the portrait, but Pastor Vivona’s work is done. The drawing has some serious mistakes, because I was racing against his remaining time, but Pastor Vivona is now free from all mistakes as he basks in the glory of the Savior.

Rejoice my dear friend! Sing the perfect praises of your Lord. One day I will see you again but there will be no need for counseling sessions, because all my doubt and sin will be removed from me.
Thank you for encouraging me in Christ. I look forward to the day when we can worship Him together, and who knows, maybe even smoke a holy cigar.

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