Giving One’s Gifts

Below is a response to the Creativity blog.  Though it reveals a slightly different angle, it is a delightful story that I thought worth sharing.  Thank you to my friend, Mark Allen, for permitting me to post it here.

“I have to chime in on this. My grandfather used to ALWAYS sing his heart out in church service every Sunday. He would just stand there in the congregation and sing along the entire time. The only problem was: He was AWFUL! I do not mean a little off key, here, I mean HORRIBLE. never on pitch, rarely on tempo, and really had a difficult time even trying. However, he always sang at the absolute top of his lungs. He would suffer glares & raised eyebrows from those around us, and snickers from the littlest church-goers on a weekly basis.
Now, myself, being raised singing all the time and lacking the decorum and tact that come with age, I decided to inquire about his reasoning behind this practice… Was he just completely tone deaf & thought he sang beautifully? Was he even aware why people kept turning around in the pews to stare? So I asked one day: “Papaw, you love to sing so much, why don’t you join the choir and sing up there with everyone else? Mamaw is up there, and so is my other Mamaw & Papaw… why don’t you join them?” His quite startling reply really took me by surprise…
“Well, Mark Allen, I’m no good at it. I can’t join the choir because I sing so badly they wouldn’t want me up there.”
“Well, then Papaw,” I followed up, “If you know you’re so bad, why do you sing so loud in the pews?”
My grandfather, never one to not have an answer, did not disappoint…
“Well you see, Mark Allen, everything the Lord gives us is a gift. Some people get amazingly beautiful gifts, and sometimes people get gifts that others don’t find beautiful. The Lord gave me my voice as a gift, and so every Sunday it is a great pleasure for me to give it right back to him – whether he likes it or not!”

So – all creativity is a gift… whether you think it is good or beautiful or not is not really yours to decide. So you take whatever gift you were given and give it right back to others! Whether they appreciate it or NOT! =)”


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