The sisters (and brothers) at Rev Gal Blog Pals grapple with a different set of questions every Friday. Here’s my take on today’s set of questions
1. What has encouraged you?
Over the years, my family–especially my husband, good friends who often see possibilities before I do, and a sense that I’m a part of something far bigger than myself.
2. What has inspired you?
In my quilting it’s often other people’s work–a painting, someone’s way with fabric, textures and colors and images combined in a way that catches my eye. In life, people who live their lives with strength and courage and dignity and maybe a little contrariness. I’m thinking this morning about a parishioner from a parish I served in California. An 80+ former Anglican nun finding ways to serve others as her own capacities diminish.
3. What has challenged you?
Conflict always challenges me and yet I often learn the most from conflict. I want to avoid conflict but find that I can’t live with integrity without conflict entering into the picture. Just this week, I was at a meeting where everyone was playing nice and ignoring the elephant in the room. I couldn’t help myself–I raised a question that exposed the meagerness of the efforts the people present were prepared to do. Afterwards, I felt lousy. Until. Until I realized that sometimes following Jesus involves turning over the temple tables.
4. What has made you smile?
My dog Tex. He’s such a flirt. He has such a sense of fun. I’m smiling just thinking about the rescue dog who tilts his head and opens his mouth with a grin every time a woman passes him.
5. What has brought a lump to your throat or a tear to you eye in a good way?
The courage, grace and dignity I meet each day in the homeless shelter where I work. This morning, I’m remembering Jenny, a woman recovering from a host of addictions. She’s her own best advocate in ways that serve her well. I love the warmth in her eyes and the compassion in her heart as she talks about her adult children struggling with their own addictions and about her efforts to help her grandchildren find a different way to live.