The day started with a quick visit to the mall management to talk about relocating our mosaic working station. We were originally placed behind Auntie Ann's Pretzel place but no one could find us -- even those who knew we were at Gateway. So, we relocated to the Food Court area today. From an artist standpoint, the lighting is much better and from the representative standpoint, the visibility is much better. The move was by far the most exciting part of the day. A bonus to the move was I finally learned the name of one of the operations men I've talked to at the mall for several years when I'd be in there to walk.
The morning was short and other than my mall walking friends not many stopped to ask too many questions. Some of my favorite mall - walking ladies stopped to encourage and support me in the process. And a second time, I learned the name of a someone I have seen at the mall for years. One woman and I discussed how to decide who to give money to and why someone would choose to give to a group supporting people in other countries versus our own.
So after the morning work session and an afternoon off, I returned to the mall around 6 pm and got into a fairly good rhythm of working. It is always amazing to me how long it takes to get in a rhythm when working on a mosaic. This project is no exception. It usually means not only working on the piece, but processing it and the steps to complete it when the art is not directly in front of me. When I'm in one of these projects, I live, eat, and breathe the process and journey God takes me through. My family can attest to that. But today the rhythm seemed to begin as I was able to complete the outline of the word HOPE.
Working rhythm in place I was still able to chat with people. Who? Well some friends as I mentioned, people interested in the art, some wanting to know about Hope Venture (they had "never heard of them"), and some impacted by the Indian girl's heartbreaking story. This included one young man in his 20's who let out a verbal response of dismay. As I chatted with him, he explained his method of sharing hope through sandwiches. Then explained that as a student, he chose to forgo taking the high ability learning classes offered to him in order to help and tutor many of his classmates. When he left, I kept thinking about his story and how was an example of disadvantaging oneself in order to advantage the community. It left me pondering if and when I have REALLY disadvantaged myself. I'm not talking about laying down my ideas, plans, etc. I talking REALLY disadvantaging self like this young man. He could take higher level classes to be challenged, maybe getting a scholarship and advancing in life. But he chose not to leave his classmates in his wake and instead bring them along for the journey. Interesting to me and has me thinking.
So today, I'll end my blog by encouraging us all to think about what is might look like if we made one step to disadvantage ourselves in an area of our lives so that our family, workplace, school, classmates, town, city, church, or any other sphere of influence we are in can be advantaged. And here's a thought, if God happens to give you an idea on this, share it in the comments on this blog post. I'd love to see where you might be used to reach someone's life and bring a little hope.