Wednesday, 17 January 2007 06:43
Written by Keith Strohm
Many times while teaching Called & Gifted Workshops for the Catherine of Siena Institute, I am brought face to face with the reality that God does actually call and gift us for our work in the world. :) It's a humbling and uplifting experience.
Last Spring, while teaching a workshop at a parish in California, I was doing Gifts Discernment Interviews with several of the workshop participants. One woman, a fairly soft-spoken and shy person, scored high on the Craftsmanship charism while taking the Gifts Inventory. As we began to unpack her experiences relating to this charism--particularly with art--I discovered that she was, indeed, an artist. She even had a website where she stored her work.
The interesting thing was that only a few people who knew her knew she was an artist. At the end of the interview, she indicated that she wanted to explore the Craftsmanship charism more but didn't know where she should start. I suggested that perhaps she should let others begin to see her artwork. The parish had a wonderful hall, and I said it would be great to put on an art show at the parish. After all, it was the first step to letting others see her work, and the parish would be a safe environment to start doing so.
I was lucky enough to go back to the parish about 6 months later and was delighted to find out that this woman did, indeed, hold an art show at her parish. Her work elicited such a positive response that she has started to do and show her artwork out in the local community--allowing others to have an encounter with God in the beautiful work she produces.
Sometimes, we only need a little nudge from our fellow brothers and sisters; God takes care of the rest. That's why it is so important to talk about our experiences of being used by God with each other.
Another lesson I've learned first-hand on the road.