Thursday, January 07, 2010

She Failed Art

Mrs. Susie has long been an inspiration to me. She exemplifies Godly womanhood and trust in God even through the hard times. When I was ten, she was my beloved Sunday School teacher; now, two of her granddaughters take dance from me. Her life continues to bless others as she encourages and serves many, often without recognition.

She also has a gift for artistry, and many people have been blessed with the beauty she brings. Over the years, church sanctuaries, special events, homes, and weddings have been transformed by her touch. She allows God to work through her, and brings glory to Him with the results.

With all of her skill, she must have had extensive training in the arts, right? While she worked on turning a theatre set into ancient Israel, we asked her: “Mrs. Susie, did you take art growing up?” She acknowledged that she had taken one art course in college, and with a half-smile, remarked that she had failed it. The teacher refused to pass her because, though her art was good, the teacher said she worked too slow.

It took a minute for me to comprehend it all. Here she was, making brown paper look like the Judean countryside with a little bit of chalk, being asked to do so only the night before, and only having 3 hours to finish – and she failed art class for working too slow?

That class was the end of her formal artistic training, but she didn’t let it stop her from using her gifts. Even now, many years later, she continues to use her talents on an ongoing basis. I wonder how many of her classmates – those that passed the course with straight As – still use their training to do art. God truly works in unique ways.

What if she had given up? What if she had believed that she really was too slow, and didn’t have what it took to be an artist? There would be a lot less beauty in this community, among her family, and among her church. Her daughter probably wouldn’t have become the artist she is now, which she learned to be through helping her mother. My sister’s wedding locations wouldn’t have been decorated so beautifully, and the set of “Beyond Bethlehem” would still be lacking something.

Yet, Mrs. Susie didn’t give up. She persevered and trusted God to use her gifts as He saw fit. She may not have trained in a world-class arts school, but she has learned to see things through His eyes. And as she allows His creativity to work through her, she has touched the world in ways she may never know.

What about you? Is there something God has called you to do, but that seems too hard, and you feel like giving up? Have others told you that your work isn’t good enough, that you don’t have what it takes? Take encouragement from Mrs. Susie, and don’t lose heart. If God has called you to do something, He will give you the strength and ability to bring it about.


Marlana said...


Those who make straight As often don't have the time to become successful...because they don't have time to pursue an invention. Most great minds hate school!

My love to this woman!

Elizabeth Ellen Moore said...

What an encouragement. Isn't it a blessing to have people in our lives who demonstrate faithfulness and perseverance? I know Mrs. Suzie's story has blessed me today.

The Pink Koala said...

That was an awesome post!
I just randomly found your blog last night, and I think that is the greatest blog posting ever!
I also failed ART in High School!(well I made a C, but since I was an all A student, it might as well have been an F). And now at 23 years old I sale my art for a living!! Never ever let someone else tell you that you cant do something! Always trust God to direct your path instead of the culture!
Hailey (

Miss Rose Virginia said...

Thank you for this post! I was quite the writer in high school, but have been discouraged as of late. I had been thinking about taking up my pen again, and this has been further encouragement for me!

Anna Naomi said...

Glad it encouraged you all!

While Mrs. Susie has done amazingly without formal training, just to make things clear, I'm not against classes and training - it often is very beneficial. I'm also not against making all As - I try for them as hard as I can! But, it is encouraging to see God use people that wouldn't be thought of as very "qualified" according to worldly standards. All that to say, God can use people mightily who have certification and many qualifications. It's just neat to see God use different people in different ways!

Mardi said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing! That made my toes hurt for lack of a better definition! There are some things I know God has called me to do, but have let the excuse I'm not good enough get in the way. I am determined to work past those excuses! Thanks for the encouragement!