The Talent I Want To Develop

This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt.  The prompt today is “talent.”

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I’ve seen my fair share of talent shows, and even taken part in a few.  The more I think about this word, the more memories come back to me, and the more I realise that I’ve been part of something very special.

Here are a few snapshots:

At a camp for young people, a ten year-old boy signs up for the talent show.  He’s been very quiet the whole week, and we’re wondering what he is going to do.  He gives us no clue, just passes on the music he wants to accompany him.  When he steps up to take his turn, he pulls out a yoyo.  He proceeds to perform the most amazing selection of tricks, which would have been impressive in themselves, but what makes it even more outstanding is the way his routine is perfectly choreographed to fit the music! People are gobsmacked by his hidden talent, and I love that he has had his moment to shine.

A few years later, at the same camp, a boy steps up to sing.  Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is his song of choice.  He opens his mouth, and I have never heard anything like it in my life!  It is high-pitched, in a totally different key, not in any way resembling the actual tune, and there is something about it that is so funny that I spend the whole time desperately trying not to laugh.  (This is not helped by a fellow-leader hiding behind me and shaking with laughter!)  Despite the dreadful noise, there is something I can’t help but admire about the boy’s enthusiasm and courage, and, when he finishes, the rest of the young people applaud and cheer as if he has given a star performance.  Not a hint of mocking – I am overwhelmed by the way they support him and cheer him on.

At our church weekend away, we have a talent show and a young girl gets up to dance.  She is obviously nervous, and she makes a small mistake, which knocks her confidence.  She runs from the room crying, saying, “I can’t do it.”  We move on to the next act, but ten minutes later she is back.  One of the women, who used to dance but hadn’t done so for about twenty years, has gone outside to encourage her to try again.  The two of them begin the routine together, and once they have got going, the woman steps aside to leave the girl dancing by herself, now full of confidence and joy.

As I reflect on the talent shows I’ve seen, above all I see the power of encouragement – of recognising that we all have different talents and encouraging one another to step up and show them, of cheering one another on and showing kindness even when it all goes wrong, of helping one another get back up and try again.

Encouragement… now that’s a talent I want to develop!

 

22 thoughts on “The Talent I Want To Develop

  1. Love those stories….made me smile but just so encouraging! So grateful for those surprise us with their talents, who enjoy their talent (even when others might call it that) and especially for those who are willing to step back on the stage with us so we can try again!! I want to be that lady!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I once was in a talent show
    to play a grand piano,
    but stepped, as I will now show
    on peel of metaphor-banana.
    I had to memorize the piece,
    and thought it was down pat,
    but in the middle I did freeze
    and told the audience that
    I would start once again,
    if they’d offer me that grace,
    and then I froze when once again
    I reached exactly the same place.
    But the laughter was a tonic,
    for they though the act was comic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. yep, we need more encouragers around us, especially in this day and age where kindness and a thoughtful word seem to be in short supply.

    i love that maybe someday, people will know we are Christ-followers by our love, not by what we’re against.

    Liked by 1 person

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