This story starts at Easter.
It starts amid the Peeps, all neon and squishy, and amid the big hats and the big deep belly laughs of community.
There were baskets with artificial turf and dyed boiled eggs displayed with traditional love and care. Boats bobbling on the water, pitching and diving while tied safely to the dock. Boats filled withhappy stationery passengers on board because the seas were mean that day, not welcoming that day. But it didn’t matter. It never matters when you have each other.
We just wanted to talk. And tell our stories. And dig down into the inner parts of each other to hear the stories. And to soak in Easter rays aimed right at our faces, traveling from the Heavens to warm us up and toast our souls.
I met Margaret right smack in the middle of Easter. Seeds were planted. She would leave for Uganda the next morning early. But for the moment she was anchored by that smile of hers to Southern soil. And tethered to me by a passion for much that reaches out in that Alabama way and lights on your soul like a Monarch mid-flight.
She had a story to tell. I listened. God planted Easter seeds as we wrapped the words in conversation under a black night sky right beside a lapping Jeremy Creek.
Uganda called her to come see, serve, and invited her to bring her contagious smile with her. Passion could come along too.
I had my family, school days, Prom nights, my writing, and my dailiness as a momma and wife to live out.
A Southern Springtime blossomed and gave birth to the verge of summer and email arrives.
We don’t know what that next thing is.
We can’t know what He has for us in the day after and the day after thats.
When the in-box invites and its your daughter not you. You are filled with excitement and possibility.
There was a donor, there is a bus, there is a ministry. Can she come along on the road trip with us.
New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Raleigh, and then home is the route this key piece of an art ministry must take. A big yellow school bus needs to come home to Charleston where she will serve and be used in an outreach for the arts. With Christ squarely in the middle.
So like all good stories that have a beginning, middle and ending this is the middle.
Because after en email came a conversation followed by a phone call. And an invitation comes. And I am invited. I would write of the journey. I would write of the adventure. Of the right after the beginning of this story, because much has proceeded the story to this point. There has been dreaming and planning and praying. There has been vision and passion and hearts have donated.
So my middle is this part. This should I go along and re-route my life plan.
And do I take a daughter along who at 16 is caught in a place of indecision. She has my disease. It is contagious. This when you need to think about it seeps all in your cracks and crevices.
And I too have known this far too many times.
But I want to be bold and brave and obedient.
And what post 50 year old housewife and mother who by choice stays home with her kids, with joy, doesn’t want to hop on a plane then hop on a bus and go to Brooklyn to blow bubbles in the park.
What lover of words doesn’t want to write a blog about an adventure down the Eatern Seaboard to deliver the one with the staring role in a new ministry, Big Yellow School Bus.
There will be a videographer and Margaret, sweet Margaret. And there will be a sister. And there may be my child. And there may be me.
So this is my Big Art Bus Adventure story, stuck right in the middle. This is a story with possibility, suspense and daring. The birth of a new ministry calls for celebration, like that of a new born child. One where people come, and Art plays her part, and stories are told. Where paint and color shout joy and creativity. And point to The Creator and all that is beautiful and intricate in His world. All that is visual and designed in beauty and in love for us.
My world is little black words on blank white pages. Oh, but these painters and artists who tell their stories with color and a medium which capture the orbs behind the lids, the windows to the soul and cause the eyes of the soul to see the world anew—these artists have a gift that wows, and stimulates the senses with technicolor love.
It is bold, it is bright, it is love. And in creating they point to The Artist of all of Creation, with celebration, and praise, and a telling of the story.
So I am in the middle of a story and it is a really good place to be. Because there is an ending to be written and there is more of a story to be told. And there is a God who delights in His children.
I may in fact need to not go. I may go. I may go with my child. My child may go without me.
I am turning the page and trusting what my part in this Big Adventue will be.
No matter how it ends, I am glad that I met Margaret, and that I can connect with her Art Ministry and ride the coattails of her passion for Jesus, for Art, and for People.
Not the end.