tonight was the kick off to this years "artist quarters" and i was once again completely blown away by the uniqueness of these students. we had poets, sculptures, painters, photographers, and singer/songwriters; each of them utilizing their own talents in a way that inspires every hungry spectator, drawing them in to experience a glimpse of their lives as artists.
i am also an incredibly sentimental woman. one of my own students who is involved in the youth ministry that i lead came this evening. she snuck in the doors late and discretely pulled up a seat, almost entirely unnoticed. but she caught my attention because prior to this artist quarters i had zero idea she was interested in the world of art. but gleaming with modest talent, she came on stage and introduced herself in sort of an uncertain way; "hi. my name is erica. i have been playing guitar since january and i want to play for you a song that i wrote." my curious eyes were glued to her. shyly she began to sing her song. erica was stunning and her quiet boldness splashed the audience with amazement, and the one that she drenched the most was me. tears of pride found their way down the trail of my cheeks (admit-tingly so, this is a frequent occurrence when it comes to students).
the desire that students have for a space to feel welcomed, a space for them to belong and have value grows increasingly evident as i spend more time with them. i hold the ambition to create such spaces. for some reason god has decided to create in me a heart for hospitality and encouragement, and with that he provides the radical ideas for the two gifts to mold together and extend His love to His beloved..