Does prayer make a difference?
It sure did for me.
Even as I write this, someone I love is smack dab in the midst of a major life crisis, but I’ve watched in awe over the last month as our powerful God has continued to specifically answer the earnest prayers of her band of praying friends.
Was it greedy of me to ask for this SAME kind of Power in my life?
Before we left for Piccolo Spoleto on May 24th, I decided to put my pride aside, and drum up my own band of prayer warriors. It feels a little awkward asking people to pray for you. But I’m so glad I did. I sent an e-mail to about 30 people, asking for one person to commit to “covering me in prayer” for each of the 18 days of our trip to Charleston. And lo-and-behold, I had 18 people sign up to do just that. I was truly humbled by this gift of time and energy on my behalf.
What happened? God answered prayers.
Prayers for safety, sales, energy, dry weather, and a profit. Prayers for Nathan, and our dog Lucy. Prayers for Tim as he worked and our time alone together. Prayers that God would be glorified in whatever happened.
Just a few of the specific answers:
- PEACE: On the morning of May 24th, my anxiety level was sky-high as we dropped off Nathan at school and continued on South to Charleston. We stopped at a rest stop in Columbia, and much to my surprise, I was greeted by a huge smile by my little friend Lacey — who actually recognized me first. She’s the young daughter of our pastor, and a fellow artist. She was there at the rest stop with her grandparents (and her two younger siblings) who just “happened” to be stopping on their way to the beach for just the day. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God placed them there alongside the road at that very same moment, to remind me that He knew exactly where I was and that he had this whole show in the palm of His hands.
- DRY WEATHER: It rained all over the Charleston-area many times over the course of 18 days. But with the exception of just 20 minutes one day, and about 3 hours another, it somehow remained dry over the park — even though it was storming within minutes of where the show was located. It was literally as if God was holding an umbrella over Marion Square throughout the entire show.
- SALES: In an economy where most people do not have extra money for art, I both talked to AND made sales to twice the number of people I did the previous year. Most of this year’s sales were of small prints, but the overwhelming volume of purchases added up to an even more successful show than last year. In 16 days I saw very few paintings pass by my tent in the hands of shoppers, yet I still sold one large original and several large giclee prints.
- SAFETY: Despite torrential rains and winds at night (including flooding of the city streets) the only damage to any of our belongings was a cracked dog dish and broken covers of two Rubbermaid containers on the return trip home.
- TIM: I already knew I loved my husband, but this trip was a tangible reminder of how lucky I am to be married to him. In addition to all the fun we had together after the show each day, Tim took such good care of me. From helping me set up and tear down at the show every night; to doing all our laundry, and grocery shopping, and my banking, and making my lunch and breakfast; to helping several of the artists around me; to walking up and down 4 flights of stairs with Lucy several times a day… Tim was the most uncomplaining servant and partner to me. And all of this was in addition to him working at his engineering job, every single day of the show. I was reminded once again, how very lucky I am to be married to this fine man.
- NATHAN: Our son was well-cared for while we were gone, but still delighted to be reunited with us after 10 days apart. This sweet/smart little guy takes after his dad in so many ways. He sat with me for several hours per day, and never once complained about how boring it was for him. On the morning when it was pouring rain and I was considering turning back to the hotel, on his words, he and I stayed in the tent and waited out the weather. “We’ll sell more sitting in the tent in the rain than we would if we go back to the hotel, Mom!” was his sage (and then later profitable) advice.
- MY HEART: Based on how many postcards I gave away during the show, I think I talked to about 800 people this year. In-spite of my introverted nature, it was surprisingly not terribly awkward or draining. I truly enjoyed (just about) all the conversations I had. And for the first time, I felt that small talk with people in my tent, seemed more natural and less contrived than at any other show I’ve been a part of.
- STRENGTH: On the 10th day of the show I woke up with Vertigo, and could not stand up for my dizziness. I contacted my closest family and friends that morning, and I know for certain it was their prayers that helped me get through the day — a day that ended up being very profitable, and would have been a significant loss had I stayed in bed like I so wanted to do.
- I guess my art impacted people. I got this kind e-mail when I returned home from the show this week… “Hello Marie Scott. Your painting, ‘Rudbeckia’ took my breath away on a Sunday in Charleston recently during Spoleto. Those flowers were so bold, they gave me hope and even strength. We were there in Charleston b/c my husband was at MUSC after serious, necessary surgery…”
- I was struck most by the fact that people I would never otherwise connect with, wanted to talk to me simply because of the colors in my paintings. I can’t even count how many young men and women (both covered with Tattoos and Preppy college students) wanted to talk with me. I am certainly not somebody they would ever give a second glance to in my real life. But in the context of my vibrant, happy paintings, I was able to connect with people of ALL walks of life, from all parts of the country.
Prayer did make a difference!
THANK YOU to everyone who prayed for my art, and my family between May 24-June 10th.
Your prayers were heard AND answered!
A powerful reminder to myself…
New International Version (NIV)
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”