What age were you when you discovered your spiritual gift? That moment when someone turned the lights on, so to speak, and you saw the very thing you were meant to do with your life. That one gift with which you identify so closely that you know you believe you could never survive without doing.
For me, that was years and years ago (more than I care to admit) around the time I began high school. At first, like with any teenager, mom dragged me to do something she was much more interested in than I thought I would be. Hours of crumpling butcher paper, modifying items bought at Home Depot, emptying countless cans of spray paint, to complete the parts needed to create this giant 30-foot behemoth of a cross. How exactly was all of this “trash” supposed to make something worthy of that giant stage?
As the project began to come together, it suddenly made sense. The textures, earthy and metallic tones, the exaggerated shadows, the perfect imperfection of it was simply amazing. It wasn’t until I walked in the doors and the lighting technicians had worked their magic did I really see what we had done. Tears of both joy and awe streamed down my face. I helped make that? Looking around, I noticed other people were moved to tears as well. I helped do that? I realized that God had used me to reach other people. The entire journey had manifested in inspiring other people to worship.
After that, I was hooked. I couldn’t wait until the next planning meeting to help discuss the upcoming visual. What was the topic? How did it speak to us? Allow the music to inspire a vision in my mind’s eye and vigorously record it in my sketchbook. Every step of the process from the inspiration, to the hard labor, to the final artwork hung for all to see, I found it all electrifying. And what’s more, it was a joy to make art for God Himself. What a better way to show God you love him than to use your gifts to glorify Him?
While I haven’t had the opportunity lately to create art on such a grandiose scale, I have been painting quietly in my makeshift studio. Still as an act of worship for God, but smaller and in the language I communicate best. Although I love my intimate paint sessions with Him, I find myself longing to find a church where I can use this gift to not only glorify Him, but also to speak Christ’s love to those who are moved by something He gave me to share. Someday it will happen again, and I will remain ever ready for when it does.