When God’s trying to tell you something he surrounds you with it! Jonah was swallowed by a whale before he agreed to do as God has sent him to. So before I get swallowed by a whale I think it’s best I stop and reflect on what he’s been putting in my heart.
This week has been flooding me with videos and verses and quotes and lessons about using your gifts for others. We, especially artists, see our work as a way of release, escape, something to keep us sane. Many of us use our gifts to only fulfill our empty holes and let out some creativity or to be praised on our “job well done”. We often don’t stop to think that maybe our gift isn’t only for us. Maybe it was meant to be shared, not for the money not for the praise or “likes” and “comments” but maybe it was meant to fill the holes in someone else.
One location where I saw this theme was on a video posted by the Facebook page “I Like Giving” (https://www.facebook.com/ILikeGiving/videos/990455920980155/?fref=nf) where comedian Michael Jr says he came to a sudden realization that as comedians you usually wanted to get laughs for the jokes you have but that at a certain time in his life instead of receiving them he wanted to give others the opportunity to laugh through his jokes.
That video reminded me of the movie Patch Adams where his goal was not to be a doctor to have a title, the money, the fancy degree or anything like that. His goal was to help others and through laughter bring some alleviation to the patients in whatever they may be suffering. “You treat a disease, you win you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you win no matter what the outcome.”…I cry every time, even just by watching the trailer lol. The point is the gifts we’ve all been equipped with are not only for ourselves to enjoy, but for others as well.
Even as I type this up I keep seeing more signs of this truth. I get distracted easily so I had stopped to scroll through Instagram and found a post by @training on a quote from Dr Martin Lither King Jr.. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others’.”
Earlier this week I also saw a photographers “about me” video on her website, Shalene Dawn Photography where she confesses that at a low point in her marriage she stopped to look at her wedding photos and that it brought back the light they once had in their marriage. Seeing as how she is a wedding photographer she also goes on to mention how that’s what she wants her photos to do for others, to always bring them back to their love. I found that to be so inspirational to me. These are not just pretty pictures of a pretty day. These are moments, filled with life and filled with love. It’s something that could mean so much to someone not only now but in later years.. and to think, they were taken using our talents. That’s why the phrase remains..”a picture is worth a 1000 words”.
I came across another photographers website and on her home page she wrote “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I hope that I don’t have a single bit of talent left and say, ‘I used everything you gave me.'” (Found on Madysnapsphotography.com). That’s when it hit me, that I’ve been seeing this topic around me this whole week.
There’s been a theme, those are only some of the places I’ve seen it pointed out to me though. In the bible there is a parable about talents, portrayed as bags of gold. Three men given different number of bags depending on their ability. The two with more bags worked their gold and made more from it. Out of fear the man with only one bag dug a hole and hid the gold. When his master came back he was upset with him for wasting the opportunity to use it and make it grow. I’d love to say I would be the one with more bags of gold but I’d more likely be the one to hide the talent, waste it and disappoint.
You see not only do we need to use our gifts to be of service to others but we first need to actually use them. I feel as though many of us have hidden talents aside from those that are our passions. I’ve always known how to draw, I’m no professional at it, I find it to be a bit of a hassle but I can. I’ve been lazy and careless with that gift over the years though. I have a list on my phone of drawing ideas that God has placed in my heart. I love collages, I have an idea to draw one titled “If we are the body” each section of the collage would have a different person using different talents to show the love of God in different ways, dance, counseling, drawing, giving, friendships etc. You see, I love photography and I’m for sure not putting that one to waste but I could also be drawing.
So I skipped around with my point there a bit but I just want us, every one of us to do more with what we’ve been equipped with. Those drawings that are just ideas at the moment could potentially be very impactful in someones life. It’s doing nothing sitting in my notes of “to draw” list. Pastor Jake, the current worship pastor at my church once told me that he sees photography as a form of worship. I NEVER thought of it that way. Through me, through my lens, I do more than just take pretty pictures. I freeze moments, moments that God has created of people he’s created. I show the beauty in his creations through my photos. Through these photos you see the love of the couples but you also see the love in which God has created us. You see a glimpse of the beauty He sees in us.
I call you all out today, creatives and non creatives, I call myself out as well…to see your passions in a new light. To bring out whats in you that you’ve hidden away. To see them not for what they can fulfill in you, not what you can get from it but what they can potentially fulfill in others. See your art as something that has more potential that getting a “like”, see it as something that can be life changing. Bring out other talents in you that lay dormant being of no use to you or anyone else. The beauty in our gifts is that they can be impactful someone else’s life. Use your baking and take someone a cake, you never know what they could be going through, that cake and your friendship may be just what they needed. Your poems, your stories, your music, your photos, your drawing, your jokes, your cooking, your kind hearts are exactly what someone else needs.
I’ll try and start a series on my drawings, hopefully you’ll see that collage come to life. Keep me in check if you don’t see it up in the next couple months 😉 What talents lie dormant in you? How could the ones you are using be for others?