Tonight my spouse recklessly left me in charge of weekly announcements at church. I meant to take the pink sparkly Santa hat to punch things up a bit. Lucky for everyone I overlooked it as I went out the door this afternoon.
The last couple of days, I’ve been pondering inspiration in my heart (in honor of Mary who was in-spirited by God in the most profound of ways). I find myself trying to shift my thinking from “I must, I must, I must” to “I want, I love, I hope.” This shift requires paying attention to what inspires – that which puts spirit and life into life, rather than draining life from life.
So tonight I kicked off those weekly announcements by asking those around the dinner tables: “What is inspiring you lately?”
I heard some beautiful short stories of inspiration. Here are a few highlights. Some were shared with the group. Others I just saw, heard or overhead amid the evening’s gathering.
- “I think all the humans are beautiful” – Rand
- My friend who is dying of brain cancer yet joyful and fully present – Linda Ray
- The Magnificat – Phil
- Talk of family at work – Martha Jo
- Inmates on diversionary work treating police horses with gentleness – Paul
- Last meals for dying friends – Frenchie
- Shoes, dresses and shawls handmade in Cuba – Nuibes
- Karaoke with kids and singing James Brown – David
- A new banner of hands from our kids to the kids in our partner church in Cuba – Julie, Amy and Sam
- Mary, mother of Jesus inspiring untold numbers of people – Cara
- A soldier welcomed home by his community – Jim
- Sleeping late and reading good books – Mia
Here are a few things on my own list of inspirations tonight:
- Clear open spaces
- People who write, play and sing music
- Squirrels scavenging November’s pumpkins and corn for feasting in backyard trees
- Explorer, Felicity Aston, braving the elements and her own solitude to reach the South Pole
- “The New Possibility” by John Fahey (Guitar Christmas Album)
- Lights in every window
- Cinnamon-Applesauce Ornaments
- Micro-lending with Kiva (my nieces and nephews will soon be inspired, too!)
- Holiday cards and greetings
- Advent worship . . . how we sing, pray, proclaim and slowly find ourselves becoming a people of God.
What is inspiring you lately?