November 22, 2017

Breathe Deeply, It’s Inspiration

The Inspiration

The Inspiration

Today I find myself thinking about inspiration.  I am thinking about the ways that the life of my spirit somehow infuses the paintings that stir my heart and the deep emotions that capture me when I see community come alive.

Here is a story that inspires me and gives me passion about the power of community. The meeting in Clarkston,  organized by the CDF Action (formerly the Clarkston Development Foundation), was in its own right a work of art. Circles of people who live and work in one of the most diverse places in the country are spread around the room.  The smell of foods and spices unusual to me. The Clarkston Community Center is the meeting place and the canvas for the night.  Colorful paintings and colorful clothing.  The sounds of many voices and many languages and dialects.
In the course of the night the crowd in small groups talk about their dreams.  They talk about the community they want and what they care most about. At the end of the session, each of the groups, many organized by common language report to the larger group. Usually the reports from these groups are done by an interpreter who summarizes their words while the group members, arranged in different language groups, watch and wonder what the interpreter might be saying.  On this night we start with group volunteers speaking in their own tongues.  We listen to the lilt, to the sounds given birth in distant places. We hear their passion and watch the nods of agreement from their fellow group members.
Two groups, sitting beside each other, are translated by one interpreter in two different languages.  In one of the groups, in an Arabic tongue, a woman stood and with great passion and a few tears tells her story, which seems to resonate with those who understand her.  But in the second group, some of the members seem to be catching the drift.  They are moved by her. They lean in and listen.  A gentleman from the second group finally stands, and through the interpreter offers a response.
The passionate woman, we soon learn from an interpreter, is telling the difficult story of trying to survive as a refugee in an alien culture. She tells how hard it is to get what she needs in a system that is hard to navigate and that puts barriers in her way.  The man who  stands is a respected elder, moved by her plight, he is prepared to help. “If you will be here tomorrow, we will meet you.  We know how to get beyond these barriers. We can help.”
I breathe in deeply listening to the sound, the inspiration.  Over and over again in this community neighbors reach out to each other.  From their own gifts and resources, they offer aid even to strangers.  It is the moment when I believe the presence of the Spirit is palpable.  When community comes alive and will not let you turn away.

 

Comments

  1. Anita Beaty says:

    Jon, your lovely, deeply felt prose is lyrical. I can see the colors and the people and smell the spices. Please find a way to publish this blog widely. We experience this kind of community at PPine, believe it or not, in small and larger groups who engage with each other and share their struggles and their joy and pleasures. Isn’t this the Kingdom of God?

    Thank you.

    • Anita Beaty says:

      Jon, your lovely, deeply felt prose is lyrical. I can see the colors and the people and smell the spices. Please find a way to publish this blog widely. We experience this kind of community at PPine, believe it or not, in small and larger groups who engage with each other and share their struggles and their joy and pleasures. Isn’t this the Kingdom of God?

      Thank you.

Speak Your Mind

*