Monday, February 9, 2015

LOVE (what you do)

Two weeks ago my cousin Becky shared an article with me titled "10 Signs You've Found Your Calling". I related to all ten but number two on the list is "Mystical Things Will Start Happening" and number seven on the list is "You May Find That Money Flows In Just As You're Ready To Throw In The Towel" hit home recently. Ah, the old "there are no coincidences". Providential I like to say. These are the gentle nudges that keep me on this path with my art and reaffirm that this IS what I should be doing at this moment.

Christmas Eve is when this story begins. It was the beginning of the realization of an accounting error that was a real doozie. I mean to tell you, if I was an employee I would have fired myself. That bad. Basically, I did not have my reading glasses on and let's just say I significantly undersold a piece of art. And not just any piece, but my favorite. Heartbreaking! So I had a southern come-apart and prayed and quickly had to let it go.

A day or so later I received a very enthusiastic email from a gentleman out of town who had been "stalking his wife's Facebook page" and decided he wanted to really surprise her and give her one of my paintings, maybe travel to come and meet me. Later, when we spoke on the phone he said she had long admired my work and described a particular painting he remembered. As "luck" would have it, I had a painting that sounded just like it in his area. I relayed to him that it was on display as part of a special exhibit in a friend's counseling office and then I got he and my friend in touch with one another. Fast forward a few weeks, he went to see it and loved it and when the exhibit was over he took it home where he hid it in his attic. It would remain until his wife's birthday at the end of January. (I LOVE being in on surprises like this!)

As if this didn't sound like a romantic movie script already, his wife got a call from a friend who needed to borrow crutches. "Sure!" she replied and where were the crutches? Yep, in the attic! So she soon called her husband and exclaimed her delight and professing her love for him having accidentally found her birthday gift. He begins to tell her about talking with me and the story behind the painting and she stopped him and said she already knew it because she met me in person at an art show months ago where I told her the story myself. Even better, she had taken a photo of the painting and still has it on her cell phone because she wanted it so badly. I got goosebumps when they relayed that to me and it's with their permission that I am sharing this story.

She saw this painting at it's "debut" show in May. Afterwards it was a part of a show on Pentecost where I was asked to share my story about the piece (I posted the story in June on my blog entry titled "No Place Like Home"). Later it spent a short time in a gallery and then at another show this fall where it almost sold multiple times and then was selected to be a part of my friend's journaling exhibit focused on "Rest" (she blogged about it here). Maybe it's a stretch, but I do believe this painting had several purposes, the last of which was to be in this very couple's home. Providential. Oh, and the accounting error? It would also seem that the sale of the piece helped recover a good bit of that lost income. In the end, my painting "No Place Like Home" answered so many prayers. 

"Here is the picture from the art show where I first met you and fell in love with this piece and your story behind it! It has been waiting for us!!" - Her cell phone photo & comment she posted on my Facebook page

It delights my soul when things like this happen. I don't feel like any gifts I have are mine, but God's. I don't think I'm any kind of super hero by any means. I just sincerely desire to do whatever it is He intended for me to do with the talents instilled in me. And that may not always mean doing what I am doing now. But as long as I receive these kind of "nudges" I'll stay on this course. 

Today's nudge. As I am proof reading and debating on whether or not to post this I received a phone call. Would I do a painting in memory of someone who is losing a baby this week? Oh, my heart. A pain I cannot fathom. But yes, of course I will! And again, it will an honor to be a small part in someone's journey.