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Thursday, May 5, 2016

An inborn talent

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It is widely believed that everyone has an inborn talent, although some remain well hidden for many years.

My brothers are both musicians, semi-professionally during their younger years, but it was hard for them to make enough to keep body and soul together, especially as their families grew.

My elder sister is an artist, although not professionally, and my younger sister was quite an athlete in her youth, but as far as I know, was never paid to play.

Thankfully, you don't have to be a musician to appreciate music. I'm not, but I certainly love music.

Nor do you have to be an athlete to appreciate skill and talent finely honed to benefit a team or a sport. Monday-morning quarterbacks around the world will attest to that. And art is easily appreciated by even the casual observer, although a keen sense of intuitive vision can intensify the experience.

I don't have that either.

I toyed with the idea of theater for a while, as did my younger sister. I even competed at speech meets during high school and joined the Thespian group. I abandoned that dream, however, at 15, when I was told that young girls are expected to be (how do I say this?) "accommodating" to the Hollywood powers that be. Count me out. I settled for the role of student director of "Mountain Madness," which combined my meager acting skills with my natural bossiness.

And, although I tried my hand at play-writing during that same time period, earning the praise of my English teacher, I didn't do much writing until coming to the Gazette in 1997, and had never been paid for it until then.

All of my life, all I really wanted to be was a good wife and a good mother. My high school counselor was aghast when I confessed that dream to her and she did her best to argue me out of it. She failed. So far so good on the wife dream, as of today, that is. It may well depend on tonight's supper.

The verdict isn't quite in on my mothering skills. As my children mature and go through the trials of life, I sometimes question every decision I ever made as a mother. Nevertheless, I have awarded myself the OAMEM degree, to wit: "Once a Mother, Everyone's Mother." Unfortunately, no one around me needs much mothering anymore. Maybe it's time for a new career path.

I suppose I could follow in my brothers' footsteps and try my hand at a career in music. However, since no recording magnate has pulled me over to offer me a record deal after hearing me sing along with the radio, outshining the artist with my vocal talents, I'm thinking that might be a bit of pie in the sky.

During my stint with the child nutrition department in the Brighton school system, I would occasionally be called upon to deliver meals to the "Teen Renaissance" program. The pilot program provided unmarried BHS teen parents with an on-site child care center so that they could continue their education and still be directly involved in the care of their infants during the school day. I would set the thermal food containers on the counter at the center, and leaving the distribution to the staff, would hold out my arms for any baby suffering from the "pre-lunch fussies" while they finished putting the meal together. The staff thought I was doing them a favor. In truth, holding the baby was doing me a world of good.

It's not that I have any talent with babies. I don't. They don't automatically quiet in my arms, I'm not able to soothe away their every tear -- sometimes they cry the entire time I hold them. Babies aren't my talent. I'm theirs. The instant they land in my arms, I am transformed. Aches and pains disappear. Heartaches flee. Hope returns. Although frequently moved to tears while holding them, tears shed while holding innocence are healing tears.

I'm needing a little baby therapy right about now. There have been too many tears of sadness in our world lately, and I fear there are more, perhaps many more, to come. Oh, that we could weep again tears born of joy.

"Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God;" Job 16:19, 20 (NIV)

I don't have all the answers, but I know the One who does. Let's walk together for awhile and discover Him; together.


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