It seemed like a simple assignment. The art teacher asked his students to take three nouns, look up and write the definition then draw a picture.

The first word was “rose”. The students responded well. The pictures were similar with variances of colors.

The second word was “garden”. Once again the students jumped into the project. This time the pictures were much more varied. There were flower and vegetable gardens. Some gardens were pictured at planting and others in full bloom at harvest.

Finally Teacher gave the third word. It was “hope”.

“This is impossible,” blurted a student. “Hope is a verb.”

“Hope is one of the three cardinal virtues: Faith, Hope and Charity”  Teacher retorted.

“How does one draw a virtue? It can’t be seen touched or encountered with any of our senses”.

“Really? Then does it really exist at all? If it exists then you can create an image of it.”

It was at this point that Teacher was asking his students to grow from drawing images to becoming an artist. He had given this same assignment for several years. They had to capture the essence of hope.

One student drew an American Flag as it gave him hope for freedom and liberty.

Teacher challenged the young artist. “Isn’t a flag just fabric of assorted colors?”

“Yes but it stands as a symbol of hope for me and many others.”

“Ah, a symbol. That is something that can be everyday and common that points to a deeper truth.”

“How else can you paint a virtue or a concept?”

“That is what an artist does all the time. We convey the deeper truth. It brings out our deeper dimensions. It shares our soul. Express your soul and become an artist.”

“We bring to the senses what is invisible but as real as life itself. Hope is as important to the human life as oxygen, food and water. Without hope a human will cease to exist. They may breathe and walk around but the spirit will be gone.”

How would you draw hope today?

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