Wednesday, November 14, 2007

All Good Gifts

Many people think of talents and gifts only in the realm of the creative arts - acting, singing, dancing, painting, writing, playing an instrument. The longer I've lived, the more gifts I see in the people around me. It is my firm belief that we are to use everything we are given. I have a limited amount of talent in a few of the creative arts and the people who have been exposed to them have been generous in their praise and attention. I never felt compelled to do any of them for attention - it was just me being me. It's hard for me to call myself a writer because I came to this passion quite late. My husband has said that I've reinvented myself - and I love that. I love the freedom to reinvent myself and expand on or redefine my former self-image. As long as we live we are able to discover new things about ourselves - and then use them.

Madeleine L'engle, the wonderful writer, recently passed away. She wrote the classic children's book - A Wrinkle in Time and many others. She says: "The writer does want to be published; the painter urgently hopes that someone will see the finished canvas - the composer needs his music to be heard. Art is communication, and if there is no communication it is as though the work had been stillborn."

"We write, we make music, we draw pictures, because we are listening for meaning, feeling for healing. And during the writing of the story or the painting or the composing or singing or playing we are returned to that open creativity which was ours when we were children. We cannot be mature artists if we have lost the ability to believe which we had as children. An artist at work is in a condition of complete and total faith."

But I think this sentiment applies to much more than the arts. I work with a teacher who has such a big and open heart that she makes every child she comes in contact with feel respected and important. I work with a principal who takes the time to hear out every child's side of the story in the middle of a problem. I've known pastors who would get up in the middle of the night to help a family in crisis. During a crisis in my life a long time ago someone sent me a large potted plant anonymously, and in an envelope was $1000 in cash - which helped me pay the mortgage and buy groceries. A neighbor recently picked up the car I crunched into a cement pole - he fixed it and brought it back to me and took the insurance amount. Some people garden and grow beautiful flowers and vegetables, some people sew unique clothing, some people are really good at being a friend, some cook amazing meals, some care for the sick. These are all gifts, all talents, all given to be enjoyed and used. So if you think you aren't "talented" think again. I spent too much of my life being afraid of not being humble enough and therefore did not always enjoy what God had given me. I know better now.

1 comment:

Kate said...

This is a lesson I still need to learn.
Thanks for always being an inspiration, Mom.