While teaching a writing class, I notice a young woman sitting in the back with her eyes intently focused on her paper. The pencil in her hand deftly moves across the page, back and forth, alternating between long sweeping motions and quick short movements. I casually walk around the room, but when I come near her desk, she covers her work with another sheet of paper.
When the class ends, I ask her to stay a few moments. Once the rest of the students have left the classroom, I ask, “Mary, may I see what you were working on in class?”
Mary lowers her head and slowly pulls a drawing from her folder.
“Mary! You drew this?”
“You’re an amazing artist!”
Mary glances up, then quickly looks down again.
“You have a real gift,” I say, “You know that, right? Not too many people can do this with a pencil and paper. Will you study art in college?”
Mary shrugs her shoulders and says she isn’t sure if she should enroll in any art classes. She’s clearly hesitant to call herself an artist. So I tell her, “You’re an artist, Mary. My prayer for you is that you’ll be able to see this amazing gift inside you and, perhaps someday, share your beautiful work with others.”
Mary smiles as she walks away. And I keep thinking about how so many of us are just like her.
We have a gift inside us, but we’re hesitant to acknowledge it.
Maybe for you it’s drawing or painting.
Maybe it’s dancing or story-telling.
Maybe it’s photography or calligraphy.
Maybe it’s gardening or setting a beautiful table.
Maybe it’s something else.
Or maybe you’re convinced that artistry isn’t in your DNA. Maybe you’ve not found the right canvas for your beauty…yet.
One thing is for sure…God has created you with a distinct purpose in mind. He’s given you something only you can give to the world.
Friends, my prayer for you today is that you’ll begin to see the gifts inside you. That someone in your life will see those gifts in you and encourage you to share your gifts with others.
And if you see a hidden gem of beauty — a special gift — inside someone else, tell them today. Be the one who gives the gift of encouragement to those around you. Indeed, encouragement is one of the kindest gifts we can give.