Capt. Darell Houseton
Arts In Action | Testimony Series | Capt. Darell Houseton
I never thought of myself as an “artsy” person. Growing up, it wasn’t seen as something that the boys did. For me, the arts were like the swimming pools in my city. There weren’t many places to take advantage or hone these gifts. In Newark’s central ward there’s a large school called Arts High. It’s given us actors like Michael B. Jordan and Kyla Pratt. It never appealed to me. I always thought of dancing and tutus. As I matured, so did my definition of art. My limited definition of the arts was confined to what I had been exposed to. It was either the boys drawing Dragon Ball Z characters or the girls in the school’s dance company.
My first experience with art came in the form of sports. I remember thinking, at 14 years old, how beautiful baseball was. The time that went into preparing yourself, the different skills it took field a ball or how to control where you hit it. Everything from the batting stance to sliding into second base was an expression of who I was not just on the field, but also off it. I can remember a teacher saying to me that it was just a game. I was offended and bothered because it was more than that to me. It wasn’t just running and jumping or swinging and catching, it was a beautiful game.
Finding the art in the things I enjoyed allowed me to be open to participating in the arts in other ways. I remember learning the moves of our dance troupe, just in case one of the young ladies had an emergency and couldn’t make it to star search. I remember participating in skits at camp to express Bible truths. I remember doing my first monologue as a cadet in the chapel. I remember these things not because they were dance moves or recitations, but because God used these arts to teach. Much like being on a sports team, God used to arts to teach me about community, sharing the gospel and committing what is important to memory.
I still don’t think of myself as an “artsy” person. However, I am open to being used by God through the arts for His purposes.