Seems obvious enough, but more often than not I forget that.
But every once in a while, we are treated to a display of talent so pure and so uncontrived that one knows instantly that God's precious gifts are on full display.
I once saw the original painting of Van Gogh's Irises. I appreciate art, but had never been moved by it. I recall rounding a corner, looking up and seeing it there on the wall in front of me. I gasped. It literally took my breath away. It didn't register that I was in a museum, or that it was an original Van Gogh or that it was a painting of which I had seen countless reproductions. It was just...breathtaking. And for a moment, time stood still.
Since that time, I've seen other original work by the Masters - including Da Vinci and Rubens - but nothing has affected me in the same way.
Tonight I happened on an Internet site that told the story of a British woman called Susan Boyle who recently appeared on the television program Britain's Got Talent ( looks similar to American Idol). Ms. Boyle is 47, unemployed and lives alone with her cat Pebbles. She spent much of the recent past caring for her widowed mother. Neighborhood children make fun of her and the judges on Britain's Got Talent seemed barely able to repress snickers as she introduced herself on their program.
And then she began to sing.
It felt like I was seeing Irises again for the first time.
I closed my eyes and listened to this middle-aged British woman sing.
And I thanked God, because I knew without a doubt, it was a gift from Him.
One more happy thing - Ms. Boyle is a devout Roman Catholic. It was reported that her fellow parishioners gave her a standing ovation upon returning home.