Drawing Jesus

David Shumate

The first patient drew Jesus as a tall, slender man with three
smiling heads, one eye in the center of each. Another
sketched him as a stick figure wearing a yellow hat. The
teenage girl from Alabama drew a white vulture with a halo
above its head. At the table by the window the Hungarian
immigrant whose language no one understood drew a face
with a scar running down his cheek, a ragged red beard,
and the kind of wild eyes that frighten children. The old
woman who had lived half-a-century in the asylum painted
a picture of a dozen orange boxes and asked me to guess
which one Jesus was hiding in. I pointed to the box with the
bulge in the middle. The Hungarian started laughing. Then
they all joined in.