|A Learning Experience|
|As many of you know, I took a week of vacation to “work like a dog” last week. My good friends, Norris and Linda Hall, had encouraged me to have a booth in the first annual Stones River Craft Fair. I prepared some intarsia pieces to see if other people would appreciate my attempt at art.How did I do? Well, I guess that’s a matter of perspective. “You better not give up your real job,” is sound advice for the time being.
Each craft artisan was asked to complete a form so the organizers could evaluate the experience. One question that stuck in my mind basically asked, “What was the most rewarding (excluding sales) part of the fair?” My answer was “Interacting with the other craft artisans.”
I met Arlene Knaack, Mike Jones’ mother who had been on our prayer list several years ago. Also, I met Ruthie Martin’s parents.
The Clevelands came up while Mr. Martin was demonstrating turning a wooden bowl and identified him as Ruthie’s dad. I was able to speak to him later and he was real appreciative of how much our youth group had meant to Ruthie and he asked me to go down and introduce myself to Joan, Ruthie’s mom.
Joan reminded me that she too had been on our prayer list because of a serious auto accident. While the doctors hadn’t expected her to walk again, she was walking. But the most interesting part of her story was when she told me about her pottery.
Joan had thrown pots for years prior to her accident. But damage to her right hand prevents her from maintaining the constant pressure needed to do her pottery. She persisted anyway because she thought it provided good physical therapy. But one night she found her attempts particularly frustrating. She left the malformed pot on the wheel and prayed to God, “Lord, I don’t know what you have in mind for this, but I am going to trust You anyway.” The next morning she woke up and could just visualize a face in the malformed area. Now her pots have incredibly expressive faces that have grown out of her injury.
While I didn’t make much money, I count the weekend a valuable learning experience. Sometimes good things come from apparent defeats. Faith, perseverance and creativity are things I learned about.
John Kenneth King