Written by Sally Moore

Bob Hines was 87 years old when we crossed paths. Hard of hearing, and a bit of a curmudgeon, Bob had lost two wives to cancer, and moved from back East out to Colorado, to be near his daughter and her family. Long retired and beginning to fail in health, he still got around and was a regular fixture at the local coffee shop. He had a reserved “favorite” table to enjoy his toasted bagel and a cup of joe. Bob was a talented artist, and when I met him Bob still painted fabulous watercolor landscapes, walked his dog and double-dipped -both Episcopalian and Southern Baptist services on Sunday’s. He was sweet, but he was a character!

I met him at church. He loved God’s Word and began to attend a Bible study I taught on Wednesday nights. Bob had lots of interesting stories, but one in particular has stuck with me.

In his hey-dey, Bob was living the dream. He was once a sought-after graphic artist in New York City working for big name corporations and perfume companies designing elegant branding and packaging. I forget the details but, he once showed me some of his work which was both gorgeous and impressive.

He shared at one point, early on in his career, he hit an inspirational desert.. No ideas flowed, no creative synapses were popping. Artists, like writers, can often experience that block!

Desperate, and with deadlines approaching, young Bob Hines was at his wit’s end.  Finally, with no other options he decided to pray about it. Right there in his office, at his drafting table, he presented the problem to the Lord. “Lord, if you will give me creative ideas- I will always give you the credit and the Glory.”  That was it. Simple and direct.

No sooner had he said, “Amen,” he reported his prayer was answered. He couldn’t believe it! “I started getting a flood of ideas. I had one great idea after another…with each one better than the last.”  He gave me a wonderful grin, his blue eyes twinkling, and stated, “You know, after that I never came up short for great concepts and ideas..”

More than 60 years after the fact, Bob Hines was still giving God the glory for this continual fountain of creativity. Not only was it a great story- it was a great lesson which I filed away in my heart.

Bob Hines died at the age of 93 about a year and a half ago. I like to imagine, even now, he’s sitting in the window of Heavenly Grounds, drinking a cup of joe, eating his bagel -and still giving God all the praise!