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ARE WE LISTENING? #GIFTS #TALENTS

Updated: Jan 24




My father was an artist no one realized it until after he died and those who attended his wake were able to see his artwork lining the funeral home walls. Numerous pieces from his teenage years, portraits of us, his children, nudes, practice sketches and more elaborate and realistic ad slicks for a magazine he had interviewed for. However, only his family knew he was an artist and those he worked with. My father was a great man in many ways. He felt very blessed to have found a job as a mail room clerk at IBM in Manhattan when he was eighteen years old as he had plans to marry my mother back then. He went on to continually be promoted from the mail room to artist, to lead artist, and then on to senior artist for the IBM location in East Fishkill N.Y. Again you must realize that literally only his family members and co-workers knew of his talent as an artist. My father drew people and computers in manuals, created large banners for the visiting Japanese contingent, caricatures for retiring IBMers, display and presentation boards, even one depicting the very new thought of “surfing the web” back then (this was all before Google picture searches, Canva, Photoshop, or Keynote). However, he never did any artwork at home. Clearly he had been blessed by God to have had such a talent and we, his children would often ask him to draw with them but he always refused. 


I believe I was around sixteen years old when a new neighbor had arrived on our street. He had married the daughter of a couple my family was very close to. John had moved in with our friends and as it turned out was also a fantastic artist, an illustrator who loved what he did for a living and encouraged my father and I to take day trips to draw local farms, animals, and the surrounding countryside. I was elated! My father was enjoying John’s company and agreed that it was better to “keep his hand in art” as what my father had been doing more and more of at work was to illustrate manuals and diagrams of machinery not necessarily art for art’s sake. I think my father went out once with John alone, had a great time and swore I could go along with them the next time. I did and loved it, for me it was a chance to continue practicing drawing which all artists know is the key to greatness for an artist. For my father it was a chance to see the cows, he loved cows from the time he participated in one of the first types of “Fresh Air Fund” trips organized for city children to experience country life. My father LOVED drawing the cows and long meandering split rail fences set against the backdrop of some old barns and mountains. We spent about three hours standing on the side of the road drawing, searching for a good spot and hoping the cows wouldn’t move around too much. John was as gifted as my father and thoroughly enjoyed the trip into the country. We all recognized that this was our chance, our time to flesh out the talents that God had given us and to enjoy the process as it unfolded. But time is fleeting and before we knew it, John’s requests for us to go out again ceased. We weren’t sure when we would see him again when we heard he was ill. It wasn’t long after that though that John had been taken to the hospital. My dad and I were worried we wouldn’t see our artist friend again as he apparently had been suffering from a tumor in his brain. Soon after his diagnosis John went in for surgery but died on the operating table. His tumor was too large to remove and so our friend left the planet, hopefully at peace with all that he was able to accomplish in his lifetime. My father and I fell into a depression. Our friend was gone and what seemed like the only person who could motivate my father to use his God given gifts went with him. John’s death hit our entire family very hard, he was kind, funny, and helpful in ways that no one was able to help my father realize how lucky he was to be so talented. I was still able to practice drawing at school but my father never picked up a pencil or paints again. I remember thinking this was an important person for my father to know at that time in his life. 


I didn’t even realize how until I just sat down and began listening to our Father in heaven give me a dissertation about my father, John and the incredible opportunity He was trying to give my father. God had always wanted my father to love his gifts, and lead the way for other artists to know that they could work either in the field that could utilize their gifts or to continue using their gifts in a way that would be hugely fulfilling while they were still alive. My father was idolized by the local kids on our street, they often thought of my father as their own father as many children felt distanced from their own fathers. God had relayed to me that He knew these children could use not just a good role model but one that knew God had given him a talent and that it could be used to inspire others. Instead my father stopped drawing altogether leaving the children of our street to seek other things to pass time, things like drugs, stealing, or getting into trouble otherwise. My father had an opportunity to positively impact those who could’ve been inspired by him and brought something different, perhaps a different talent to enlighten or inspire other children. In essence, my big “aha” moment at the funeral home when I saw so many people who loved my father and never knew he was an artist, had come full circle as God described to me how He had carefully planned my father’s life to help him evolve this one thought, that perhaps the talents that God gives us aren’t meant to be ours and ours alone. That these gifts are in fact, evidence of God’s love for us and the plan He has always asked us to live by “Love thy neighbor as you would love yourself and God.” 


What God tells me is that whenever we allow ourselves to better experience our creative gifts and talents something else happens in the brain outside of the creative experience. When we are in a creative thought process we are actually protecting the mind as no nephilim or satanic strategies can exist at the same time. Moreover it is essential for people to understand that implication alone when arbitrarily obliterating art and music departments in schools across the country. Creativity also denies inertia, feeds problem solving, and empowers children of all ages to do so,  and to think outside the nephilim strategists box and bring something better to the fore.


Where else have we missed God’s love letters to us? Brenda’s issues with money. 

Molly’s refusal to see Barbara’s needs. My own family’s refusal to try to communicate truthfully. Gil never allowed himself to see himself as creative or talented. God has essentially time after time given us His gifts of talents, creativity, blessed us with more and more opportunities to express those talents and gifts, inspiring others, solving problems, and obliterating evils of all kinds over and over again. Are we listening?


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