Friday, October 21, 2011
God can even use an Etch-A-Sketch
So, this is one of my hobbies. God gave me an artistic gift that has been passed down through the generations of my family and I have fun using it in different ways...I love to watercolor paint (although I don't have much time for that these days), I have painted murals at our church and other various locations, I used to do traditional scrapbooking and now do digital scrapbooking, I enjoy making cards, and I even draw on the Etch-A-Sketch.
My fun on the Etch-A-Sketch began when I was a kid. The Etch-A-Sketch is based out of Ohio Art, a company located in Bryan, Ohio--a hop, skip, and a jump away from where I grew up in Ohio. My parents enrolled my sister and me in their Etch-A-Sketch club when we were in elementary school and we loved it! We entered contests for our drawings and even had pen pals who also liked using the Etch-A-Sketch. This is where God used the Etch-A-Sketch to broaden my world view.
I had a dear pen pal relationship with a girl named Melanie which formed out of the Etch-A-Sketch Club's monthly newsletters. Melanie and I exchanged letters over the years all about our Cabbage Patch Kids, sticker collections, Etch-A-Sketch drawings, and life as a young girl. I still have all of her letters rubber banded together in my desk. Melanie was a lot like me yet she didn't live in Ohio...she didn't even live in the U.S.A. Melanie was from Australia. I remember looking on our globe at home several times to see where Australia was--it was a LONG spin around the globe from where I lived. It was the first time I had a concept that people lived outside the borders of our country. Who knew an Etch-A-Sketch could help connect a person to another person who lives in such a "far away land".
Over the years, Melanie and my letters progressed from Cabbage Patch Kids and stickers to talking through school issues and family dynamics. We unfortunately lost contact in the high school years, but re-connected again in college for a while. What a blessing it was to hear we both grew up to become believers in Christ! How amazing that God moved in my heart and also in her heart even though she was so far away from me. He truly loves all the people of the world, doesn't He!?!
Now that we are in the process of adopting Nora from Haiti, our eyes and hearts are once again reminded that God loves people from all over the world--not just Americans or "people like us". It seems like such a simple concept to grasp, yet for some reason many people have a hard time with it. For some reason we have a tendency to think God is only in relationship with people like us. Maybe because that is generally all we know until we allow God to broaden our world-view. When He finds fertile ground in our hearts to stretch us and broaden our limited view, He will do it--even by using an Etch-A-Sketch. I am so grateful. Because of Him I know in my heart that no matter what skin color we have, what traditions we grew up with, what location on that huge Earth we call home, He loves us and unites us together by that love.
Yes, our daughter will be a different skin color from the rest of us. Yes, she will be from a third-world country where poverty is TRUE poverty and we will be from a country where wants instead of needs are met at a drop of a hat. Yet because of God's love for ALL of His children, our worlds will collide and our world view will be connected. Our children, in an essence, will get to experience a first-hand "pen pal" experience daily in our own home! What a blessing! They will see, just as I did as a child, that even though we come from different lands, we are still very much alike and that God loves us all. It's a gift I desire to give them (and the rest of us) that will beat any other gift in their lifetime.
As far as the Etch-A-Sketch, when I posted my dragon drawing last night on facebook, a friend brought up an idea of drawing characters for friends and selling them to raise money to bring Nora home. What an intriguing idea! I couldn't fall asleep very well last night trying to figure out how I could make that work. I don't have a plan as of yet, but it's something I'll still continue to ponder. It would truly make the circle feel complete--God used my talents on an Etch-A-Sketch as a little girl to connect me to the world I had yet known and now many years later, He could use it again to bring a little girl from a different part of the world home to us. I like it--I really like it. Until I figure it all out, however, you can simply enjoy seeing a few of the drawings I've done.
**Update: here is the link to the way God used my Etch-A-Sketch talents to help fund our adoption!