Let me tell you about this girl.
This past weekend I attended two days of The Belong Tour, a group of women all crafted and put on this earth for something specific joining together to travel, encourage and inspire women with their gifts. One of those women was Sharon Irving, whose bio read:
Sharon Irving is a singer, songwriter, poet, MC, voice-over artist, and actress. She started pursuing her professional artistic journey while in college. During this time she developed a heart for racial reconciliation and social justice, realizing her desire to be a “voice for the voiceless” through spoken word and song. She was a featured vocalist/spoken word artist on the North Park University Album. In 2015, Sharon shared her talent with the world as a leading contender on America’s Got Talent. She has a passion for collaborating and blending different art forms, and aspires to write songs about what it means to be human in a broken world.
I would be lying if I read this Bio with a super positive mentality.
Because let’s be honest --- when you’re in this “creative field” you compare yourself 90% of the time. My first thoughts? Wow this girl is clearly doing all the things i am not, here she is leading worship at this conference in an ARENA. All the ugly thoughts flooded after that, eventually they left but they tried to come back during the morning of the second day when Sharon opened the day with a poem. A poem where at first I thought “She’s doing what I want to do. She’s doing it BIG…” and before any other thoughts could flood my mind --- God said (literally spoke Very clearly) “Be quiet and take this in.”
Seconds after that is when the tears started flooding. Her poem, her words, touched a really deep and spiritual part of me that honestly had maybe been sleeping for quite some time now. I can’t help but listen to other poets and immediately go into the mechanics of it all. How they talk, the cadence of their voice, their hand movements etc etc. She kept speaking this prayer, worship filled piece and I WEPT right up until it turned into a full blown WORSHIP SONG --- YES, WORSHIP SONG. So obviously when they announced that she would be taking photos and signing, I went to talk to her because I needed her to know how she affected me.
I stood in her line, she came out and first we joked about taking a photo because we we’re so matchy matchy and I told her women are probably going to stare at me and think I’m her because i’m the only other black girl in a black hat there. We laughed, I told her how much her piece impacted me and that I too do spoken word, she said “no way!” In the courteous way that you would when someone tells you that they too do what you do. I then handed her my card because I wanted to connect and work with her. She looks down at my card and says, “Wait. I know this name, I think I already follow you..”
Anddddd - this was my face when she said that.
Then she says, “oh my gosh! I’m having a little fan girl moment. I love your work!”
And so of course I said “no no. i’m in YOUR line because I’m here to tell you that I love YOUR work.” and then you can imagine it followed something like a middle school girl reunion. As if we had known each other for quite sometime.
Patsy Clairmont (one of the speakers on the tour) talked about those seemingly random moments of divine appointment when you meet someone and your souls just sort of do a little dance because everything about that moment feels so right and so absolutely orchestrated.
I Cry, we hug again and take another photo.
And then I let the rest of her line continue but we both felt a shift (and I can say this from both of our perspective because we’ve been texting one another for the past few days just eagerly trying to learn one another's stories, crafts and way into this artistry.)
This moment is a piece of something monumental. I don’t know what-- I don’t know if it’s finally feeling as though I’m not so lonely in this craft that someone else gets this specific type of crazy or the fact that she’s really freaking gifted and I’m already telling her I want her to sing on stuff (ugh creatives am I right?)
But mostly I think it’s because the moment we hugged it out --- it didn’t feel like the last encounter and when the group of women I was with witnessed it all with me (and recorded it ironically) and asked how that was for me, I started bawling (yes, more tears) because my small tap in the pool has rippled.
That’s what doing this, pursuing this feels like the 99.9% of the time. A small finger tap in a really, really big pool and all I can pray and hope for is that it ripples. That it becomes bigger than me, that it supersedes my human and trickles into supernatural. That the words I conjure up from the deepest parts of me turn into healing some how. And no, all of this is not to get noticed but when it does happen? I won’t pretend it doesn’t feel good. I won’t lie and say it isn’t motivation to keep going because it truly is. Because when people see you, believe in you, root for you IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. Yes, it’s God orchestrating all this and you are humbled enough to be a megaphone in the hands of a really big and awesome story telling God. I get to tap my finger and watch him do the rippling--- and that brings me to tears.
Because most days this is exhausting. And most days I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING.
And he’s just like don’t worry I got this and friends you know what?
He really truly does. Keep on tapping, let him do the rest okay? Sit back and watch a really crafty God do what he does best --- write the best hellos that begin the origin of something really really beautiful.