– Br. Michael, ofm
Maybe it is because I am in a season of farewells or maybe it is because we have begun the final descent of the year, but those who inspire me have been on my mind as of late. I’m always amazed at the people who intersect with my living. Those who provide me with an insight, a new way, an encounter with the divine or a breath of fresh air. God must delight in these moments when we realize how another has led us to a deeper truth of not only ourselves but also of God’s deep and intimate love.
In the past four months I have stood at the graves of both my Grandmothers as we buried them and prayed at the grave of a childhood neighbour. Three remarkable women who impacted my life greatly, not just with their faith but also with the way they embraced the journey which was theirs to walk. Each one unique with each one being a light for my path. The way they lived was an encounter with our living God; I always felt seen, heard and loved. I heard stories of days gone by and hopes they continued to live with and navigate. Their eyes were fixed not on themselves but on those who shared the journey with them. These three women inspired me and will continue to do so as I carry on with my own walk.
I have also been considering others who have inspired me. Some for a season of my life – like a creative babysitter or the mom of a high school friend or a few former teachers. I consider those who are newer to my life walk such as colleagues, friends, friars and retreatants who have introduced me to new ways in seeing the beauty of God, the daily divine encounters and to what my living means when reflected from the encounter with another. I consider those who are with me for a life time; my closest friends who are from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences and how each awakens me to God’s voice. I consider those who have companioned me on my spiritual journey; who through their relationship with God have encouraged me to see the gifts born of own relationship with God. I consider those who have raised me – my parents, relatives, even my siblings; as they gave me shelter and a place to grow, dream, stretch, “freak out” and become who I am. These mentioned few and several others have inspired me and when I stop to think about it inspiration comes to hope. Jesus said, “by your endurance you will gain your souls” (Luke 21.19). I read this as encouragement and motivation, for endurance and hope are indeed the fruits and strengths of inspiration. Endurance is laced with hope and in this we live and move and have our being as children of God. Inspiration comes in many forms with many people. Where are you noticing it? How is God nudging you to pay attention to what and who is inspiring you? Let us be attentive this week and let us be inspired again.
Photo Credit: Jacob Campbell