Thursday, January 7, 2010

She Failed Art

Mrs. Susie has long been an inspiration to me. She exemplifies Godly womanhood and trust in God even through the hard times. When I was ten, she was my beloved Sunday School teacher; now, two of her granddaughters take dance from me. Her life continues to bless others as she encourages and serves many, often without recognition.

She also has a gift for artistry, and many people have been blessed with the beauty she brings. Over the years, church sanctuaries, special events, homes, and weddings have been transformed by her touch. She allows God to work through her, and brings glory to Him with the results.

With all of her skill, she must have had extensive training in the arts, right? While she worked on turning a theatre set into ancient Israel, we asked her: “Mrs. Susie, did you take art growing up?” She acknowledged that she had taken one art course in college, and with a half-smile, remarked that she had failed it. The teacher refused to pass her because, though her art was good, the teacher said she worked too slow.

It took a minute for me to comprehend it all. Here she was, making brown paper look like the Judean countryside with a little bit of chalk, being asked to do so only the night before, and only having 3 hours to finish – and she failed art class for working too slow?

That class was the end of her formal artistic training, but she didn’t let it stop her from using her gifts. Even now, many years later, she continues to use her talents on an ongoing basis. I wonder how many of her classmates – those that passed the course with straight As – still use their training to do art. God truly works in unique ways.

What if she had given up? What if she had believed that she really was too slow, and didn’t have what it took to be an artist? There would be a lot less beauty in this community, among her family, and among her church. Her daughter probably wouldn’t have become the artist she is now, which she learned to be through helping her mother. My sister’s wedding locations wouldn’t have been decorated so beautifully, and the set of “Beyond Bethlehem” would still be lacking something.

Yet, Mrs. Susie didn’t give up. She persevered and trusted God to use her gifts as He saw fit. She may not have trained in a world-class arts school, but she has learned to see things through His eyes. And as she allows His creativity to work through her, she has touched the world in ways she may never know.

What about you? Is there something God has called you to do, but that seems too hard, and you feel like giving up? Have others told you that your work isn’t good enough, that you don’t have what it takes? Take encouragement from Mrs. Susie, and don’t lose heart. If God has called you to do something, He will give you the strength and ability to bring it about.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Susie is definitely an inspiration to me! She and Natalie did such a wonderful job on my wedding! God has really given her a talent that her one-time art teacher just didn't see.