I'm looking for an artist... not just any artist, but a very special artist. One who can paint for me... the wind. Capture light and put it in a bottle... to paint with colors that come alive on the canvas.
Not some abstract thing, but an accurate, up-to-date photographic likeness... I want the artist to paint a picture that tells the story of - Trinity Bible College.
Now... our painter must have an appreciation for beginnings... I want to see where it all started - to have a feeling of what was set in motion in the heart of one man... of how the Holy Spirit brought to reality this vision to educate and develop young men and women to serve the heartland as pastors, teachers and business leaders.
But - how can we explain to the artist... How can we describe the circumstances... the churning and stirring in a man's soul that brought the birth of that dream over 60 years ago... a story that is touched by the miraculous from its start in 1948 to the present.
L.E. Englar was the man, chosen by God and entrusted with a plan which would expand far beyond his dream.
And our artist will need to include other men used by God to bring this plan into reality... men experienced in dealing with harsh, adverse conditions, but with yielded hearts.
W.H. Kesler, G.L. Riffe, H.G. Johnson and C.L. Strom, along with L.E. Englar were founding fathers of the new fledgling Bible school.
How can we declare the dimensions of the idea to provide a short-term Bible school to meet the needs of rural America? Is there a way?
And... our artist must have a sense of architecture... He must be able to look back 60 years and capture on the canvas... the old hotels from Egeland and Leads, North Dakota that were moved on to the North Dakota District family camp grounds and became the home for 18 students in that first class of Lakewood Park Bible School... Then the church educational building that was completed to house the growing Bible school that then moved to Aberdeen, South Dakota, or the hospital in Jamestown that was the next home for the expanding enrollment... I want the artist to show me the name of that hospital-Trinity... and gave the Bible school a new name... Trinity Bible College.
I need an artist who can also step into the present and with paint and brush show me today's 28 acre campus and buildings that house Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, North Dakota.
But, I don't want the artist to paint me just a place... rather an experience... to make that building come alive with the voices of Godly professors and a ministry support team who break the alabaster box of their training and knowledge on the altar of their calling... of men linked together by a common spirit and purpose - men on the go... on the move, pressing forward, determined to win this world for their Lord.
The artist I am looking for must have a sense of history... to have a feel of what took place... to also be able to capture the vision and commitment of the early leaders.
The artist must also show these leaders discovering new possibilities and always guiding their future replacements to step into the forefront of the picture.
But how do you paint the dream... how can we explain to the artist... is there a way it could be packaged in words?
The painting will get a bit crowded because this must include over 5,000 alumni who have walked in the hallways or sat in a classroom-students who have called TBC home.
I want to see the results of their service to the Kingdom of God... lives being changed and then bringing value to the Lord.
But where can we find an artist that can paint for us such a picture ... Who can sketch such an expansive ministry... Who can render on canvas the will of God so accomplished?
The task is too great... No one can show with paint and brush on canvas the Spirit of God so expressed... not even with the boldness of a Van Gogh... the sensitivity of a Renoir... the adventures of a Cezanne... the clarity of an El Greco or the compassion of a Rockwell.
See it on canvas - no! But it can be seen - The next time you see Mike Dusing... look deep into his eyes and there you'll see the fulfillment of all that has been said.
Or evaluate the expression of David Jones. Look on his face and study the lines of experience etched deeply upon his countenance... You'll see it there.
In the handclasp of a Mike Maroney or the stride of Warren Schlecht, in the tear on Keith Elder's cheeks... the smile of a Kelly McCormick.
I guess I've found our artist - He is none other than the Lord and He works on the canvas called life... He oversees some of His best work at the art studio called Trinity Bible College... a place where Godly professors each become His apprentice to work under His supervision... and together they paint on the canvas of life and turn them into a valued masterpiece.