Sir James, Prince of Paint



Jim Shinn

drop capt was Sunday morning, very early, and I was near Bucklin Park, painting over graffiti recently put on the bus stop benches. I have written before about my hobby as a “graffitologist.” Anyway, a gentleman comes walking by as I am swashbuckling with my brush and he asks, “Are you painting over graffiti?”

Now  I could have been a smart mouth and said, “No, I’m building a cathedral!” but I said he was correct in his assessment. He replied, “You should be given knighthood!” I told him thanks for the affirmation, and he said he just hated graffiti and appreciated my efforts.

I don’t think he was an angel, but just someone, like me, who doesn’t like gangsta art that much. I do like art, but graffiti is more about vandalism and promoting the individual at the expense of the rest of us. His nice comments, made me wonder, “Sir James, Prince of the Latex Palette.” Hmmm…Actually, I am not seeking sainthood on this planet. I am already a child of the King and a Holy Priest (2 Peter 2:5)! But, to  be a knight, also! Wow…that would be a lot of medals on my chest!

I will admit that I seek attention. You don’t write a column(s) without being a little interested in the spotlight. Actually, the focus on me makes me a little uncomfortable. I write, because I can, and too many
people have told me they like what I do. It is just more service to the community. I like to serve, and most of my anti-graffiti work is done early in the morning, before many of you venture out. A lot of my
services are self-centered. I hate looking at graffiti on the walls, buildings, signs, bus seats, electrical boxes, sidewalks, etc. It takes sssssooooooo little time to cover it over and if you don’t do it, tagging attracts other taggers. Kinda like how male dogs follow each other around. Not trying to be disrespectful, but just noting nature in different species.

But back to my recent promotion. I liked his comment, because it was different, but also because it was affirmation. Too often, people do good, but don’t receive acknowledgment. There are many heroes on the planet, and I suspect many of them are humble heroes, who do the good, to feel good, but not for good feedback. I am an encourager. When there is a well-written letter in the paper, I will call the stranger and tell them good job! When a random act of kindness happens in my sphere of awareness, I will let them know that it isn’t just God and Santa Claus who are watching. Your good works are noticed, valued and should be repeated.

I believe God blesses us for our good works, but what goes around, comes around. People do pass it forward. Hopefully, my knightly duties, performed early in the morning will lead to more of the same from
others. If not, no problem. At least I don’t have to be reminded of Little Puppet’s annoying art, at least not for a week or two when he steals another can of paint!!!