Last Friday marked NCCF’s 10th Annual Art & Soul Charity Auction and its 2nd Annual Youth Arts Fair, both scheduled at the Silver Spring Civic Building and Veterans Plaza. Friday also marked 9 tornados kissing Maryland in various locales, while the skies alternatively open and closed, erratically dumping torrential floods of water on the thirsty earth.
As I drove from an important meeting in Baltimore that day, praying as I moved slowly through the dark, moody weather moving north, I not only hoped that the thunderstorms had already passed downtown Silver Spring, but that I would arrive at the NCCF event on time. Most importantly, I hoped that the 23 distinctive performing youth groups would not be disappointed, that the philanthropic artists who so carefully hung their intriguing works on walls would not be bereft of an audience, that the humanitarian awardees would be present to receive their accolades, and that the celebration which had been planned for months would go on!
At some unexpected moment, the skies spilled out torrents of rain once again, while the dark clouds themselves seemed to boom in protest. But can you imagine? The young artists sang and danced under the pavilion, on a dry oasis surrounded by admirers. They were beautiful, gifted, and absolutely delighted to share their talents. But can you imagine? More than 400 attendees stood in the Great Hall happily to salute a 25-year-old Army Staff Sergeant, a former NCCF foster child who is now a college graduate and defender of his country.
Really, I did not imagine all of this, could not imagine it. God delivered the much needed rain, but also the remarkably diverse community, with its immeasurable willingness to support NCCF’s mission. For this gift, I am so grateful and I thank the hundreds of you that will brave a tornado (or more) to witness this mission in action. You put up your umbrellas and helped us imagine.