As is common with our gifts, the Lord uses them to mold us, increase our dependence on Him, and refine our hearts as we share these gifts with others.
The Apex family has been incredibly blessed with creative talent; there's certainly no doubt about it. We are surrounded, each week, by people doing their best to proclaim the glory and awesome wonder of our Lord, Jesus Christ, through the creative talent they've been gifted. Sometimes it's overwhelming how the Lord has funneled so much artistic ability into one place. Often, we don't even realize who is behind the creations and presentations we see each week. After all, it's not really about the “who”...it's more about the “why.”
If you've been around Apex for the last couple years, you've more than likely noticed the beautiful and intricate graphic design creations headed up by on-staff graphic designer, Grace Winkler. You'll see Grace's creations throughout sermon-series branding and on the t-shirts and branding related to Apex ministries (for instance, Operation Christmas Child). Grace has been given an incredible talent to convey a message through art. But as is common with our gifts, the Lord uses them to mold us, increase our dependence on Him, and refine our hearts as we share these gifts with others. Grace's talent is no exception.
When I sat down with Grace, over hot apple cider, she was very easy to talk to. It was easy for me to tell that she is a deep thinker and quite humble about her abilities as an artist. It didn't take long, though, for Grace to give me her “why.” Grace is an artist, professionally trained and practicing. Alongside her work at Apex, she runs a freelance business serving others with her talent. When she was fresh out of college, though, she said that her creations were about “the work” and finished product; it was more about moving up in the industry and being a go-getter in her field, and less about how God was using her as His hands and feet through her creations.
Over the years, though, the Lord has used art to refine Grace's heart and show her more of who HE is and how she can serve through this artistic talent she's been given. As Grace sits down to sketch out her designs, she gains a deeper understanding and respect for the Lord – the ultimate Creator of all things, the Designer of all designs. She mentioned that the projects she works on and people she is involved with, who help pull it all together, have given her a better understanding of how God puts order in everything. He weaves every cloud in the sky and leaf on the trees together to paint the wondrous scenery we see around us each and every day. And so often that we take for granted. The parallels are definitely there, and it's a beautiful thing to be able to notice them.
As the Lord has influenced Grace's projects, reflecting on His attributes has also touched her heart in the day-to-day as well. Grace mentions that her rewarding calling as a designer has warmed her heart to others as she often has to work with a team to bring a project to completion; it's also given her insight to many causes she may not be involved with if not for her passion as a designer. She's enjoys the sense of community brought about by these projects, and is incredibly humbled by how some of these projects have taught her patience, given her a deeper desire to serve, and increased her humility.
Grace's story is a great reminder to be on mission right where we are. Many of us tend to our daily tasks with an indifferent or even apathetic heart, each day. The Lord has many great opportunities all around us, let's start opening our eyes and hearts to see them and serve Him each day.
Author: Tess Augustine