The elderly man slowly, haltingly, dragged one foot after another, using a cane to pull his frail, disabled body across the grassy park.  Sitting patiently in his wheelchair, along the sidewalk, his wife watched his progress carefully; then she pushed the wheelchair further down the sidewalk to meet up with him after his fatiguing walk.  This is something I witness on nearly a daily basis.  I don’t know this couple.  I wave, I smile, encouraged not only by this man’s efforts to keep moving, but his wife’s devotion.  I feel so inspired by his efforts, particularly on those days when I whine about getting a bit of exercise.  He tells me he speaks Farsi.  I nod. 

     I’m equally inspired and encouraged by the dad of the special needs daughter who follows her around, grinning proudly and lovingly at his blessing, as she walks, walks, walks to an internal compass, destination unknown.  He makes sure she’s safe, but he revels in her ability to walk when the doctors had proclaimed a dim prognosis. 

     Who inspires you?  During this season of thankfulness, when we’re reminded to be grateful and count our blessings, I’m especially thankful for those people who inspired me, even if they don’t know how profoundly those small moments of grace affected me.  Did you know that inspiration literally translates to God-breathed?  How beautiful to imagine that God is present in these moments of inspiration. 

     During this Thanksgiving weekend, consider thanking those who have inspired you this year.  If appropriate, tell them so.  If it’s a stranger or some random moment, thank God for using that person to bless you with some motivation or encouragement, an insight, or a new appreciation for something. 

     These are the other people on my “short list” of inspirational moments this year.  Regardless of politics, people who have the courage to stand up to injustice or oppression, whether that means changing a law or policy, starting a protest or movement, or running for public office.

      I’m inspired by those individuals who run a marathon, even though they know they’re going to “lose.”  They’re just running to challenge themselves. 

     I’m personally inspired by and grateful for those friends and family who “show up,”  physically or emotionally, in the midst of a crisis or tragedy.  I want to show up for others, too. 

     I’m inspired by all the brave heroes, sung and unsung, who go into battle, fight fires, protect the public, or save others with their medical talents and devotion.  Surviving a medical challenge makes you ever so grateful for the healing arts.  I recently saw a movie about a female journalist who covered war-torn countries, and I marveled at her guts and determination to make sure the truth got out to the world. 

     And finally, I’m inspired, although with a touch of sadness, by those who have passed on this year.  They have left behind memories, they have left a legacy, but they are not so far away from our hearts.  Thank you Lord, Amen.


4 thoughts on “Inspiration”

  1. Thank you! I marvel at those small moments when someone blesses you, even anonymously. I wonder if we can be used that way, too…even if we don’t know it!

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