Words of Hope: The Art of Love

Dad thought outside the box as a basketball coach and had insightful ways to keep students engaged. He believed deeply in the idea of love as the centerpiece of learning and, as a coach and educator, worked to find ways to engage the heart. Thomas Aquinas said, “The things we love tell us what we are.” Dad worked hard to find out what people loved. One young man in Alaska had been aloof the entire week of camp. Dad asked him to lunch at the camp cafeteria. Dad learned the young man loved art and drew all the time. My dad also loves art; though he wasn’t an artist, he greatly appreciated art. With great joy and energy, the young man ran to his dorm room to grab his sketchbook and came back to the table faster than he had run all week. Dad took time to ask questions and study each drawing with care and attention. The interaction took about 40 minutes. The young man finished camp playing with great heart and enthusiasm. Months later, Dad opened a package sent to him at the NBC office. Inside was a beautiful drawing from the young man at camp accompanied by a touching letter. It explained how that lunch interaction had inspired him every day afterward to pursue his love for basketball and art. I often imagine how dad would show care to a new friend or person he met. At the root was listening for what a person loves and seeing the beauty of God in the other person. As Van Gogh says, “The greatest work of art is to love someone.”

“We love because He first loved us.” -1 John 4:19