Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hidden Artist

One of the lovely "extras" offered during our stay at Laity Lodge was the opportunity to spend time at the Cody Center. Kathy Hastings, a gentle, patient and extraordinarily talented artist, came armed with all sorts of things to encourage us to experiment with art.

One afternoon I made my way down the red path, past a sweet lady sound asleep in one of the hammocks, and into the Cody Center. After tying an apron around my waist and finding a spot at one of the tables filled with art supplies, I eagerly awaited instructions on how to use them.

I pause here to confess that I have no hidden artistic talent. Ever the optimist, however, I thought perhaps I would somehow produce just a teeny "masterpiece" or two. We began by learning different techniques with water colors.

I'm afraid that's as far as I got. It all started out fairly well, but I became increasingly frustrated with my awkward attempts at painting. The perfectionist part of me, the one I try to keep under control, began to take over. If I couldn't do this thing well....I was just not going to do it! I couldn't find a trash can, so I just left my little pictures by my place, took off my apron and slithered off to nurse my bruised ego. The word childish springs to mind...

I walked around the beautiful, peaceful grounds and eventually found my feet crunch, crunching their way back along the path that led to the Cody Center. About half way there I saw Patricia coming the other way. She called out to me, beaming with the knowledge of a special secret. Patricia is an absolute delight. I was drawn to her the minute I met her. She is out-going, warm, kind and has a delicious sense of humor.

"Look what we did!" Clutched in her hand were my discarded art projects - beautifully framed and wrapped in plastic covers. She said the others couldn't understand why I didn't want them. They decided to rescue them and return them to me as a gift. I was overwhelmed by their kindness and generosity. They had taken my feeble attempts at painting and made of them something beautiful.

As I think back over that special moment, I realize it is symbolic of what the Father wants to do for me. He will take my "little" and make of it something very special indeed. All He asks is that I remain faithful.

I don't have to do the big, perfect thing all on my own. In fact, I can't do the big, perfect thing on my own. Only He can do those things. The amazing part is He allows me to have a small part in it (sort of like those loaves and fishes "thing" in Mark 14: 14-22).