Serendipity is a term used to describe an occurrence or development of events that “by chance” happen to unfold in a happy or beneficial way. As people of faith, we don’t believe in events happening “by chance” since God oversees all things and nothing escapes the mind or heart of our Lord. The word we often use is “divine providence” by which God directs all things and makes all things (animate and inanimate) happen for the good of those who believe. Well, something like that happened to me these past weeks.
I was sitting in my office, doing my usual work, when a young man, Dan Mondloch, rang our office door. Dan was holding in his hand a beautiful painting of the Church of St. Paul which he had just finished. It was still dripping wet when he said, “Here father, this is for you and your church!” Dan is the 2017 recipient of the Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, a subsidiary of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. Dan has been commissioned by the state to “paint 50 paintings in 30 days.” Twenty-five of these paintings he has to give away on the spot to those who have a unique connection to those places. The other 25 he must display at the Paramount Center for the Arts in St. Cloud. It is part of the “Paint it Forward” program.
Dan is a great artist and his expertise is in watercolor. When he handed me the painting which he just finished outside our building, I was both surprised and humbled by his talent and generosity. Some of you know I paint too, however my expertise is oil, not water color. In just 1 ½ hours Dan was able to create this wonderful scene of the entrance of our church as people were walking in. I was amazed at how quickly he put this painting out and how good it was! Dan and I then had a wonderful conversation about art and painting and color for the next hour. Please see the image of this painting printed in our bulletin today!
As part of the agreement, Dan asked me to bring this painting of St. Paul to his viewing at the Paramount Center in St. Cloud on Saturday October 14th from 12-5:00 p.m. At that time Dan will be hosting a viewing/pre-sale of his many paintings as well as giving a demonstration and talk. Our painting will be shown with the 50 others as part of his gallery exhibit. I believe this exhibit at the Paramount will continue from September 29 thru October 28th, but please call to check the dates and hours. After the exhibit, we will be free to keep the painting. My plan is to display it either in our main office or in the gathering space in church.
God has blessed us all with talents. Dan found his. What is yours? You do have one by the way! The challenge and adventure is to find yours!
Words to live by: “If you have tried to do something and failed, you are vastly better off than if you had tried to do nothing and succeeded.”