In the course of the recent past, I have found myself inspired and filled with hope. Instead of the usual sources of inspiration, I have caught a clearer glimpse of Hope as I learned about the history and dance for the black Madonna, experienced the renewed feeling of joy that is only found in a caring community, and came face to face with someone that knew the heart of how to dialogue. The sources of inspiration came from places just beyond my imagination. It was a pleasant reminder of how God is often found in the Other.
As I walked away changed for the experience, I found myself wondering how others before me dealt with this discovery. Did they even have one? It is interesting to note how one writer captured his experience. The notation was simple, yet filled with an interesting insight. “The congregation in Antioch was blessed with a number of prophet-preachers and teachers: Barnabas, Simon, nicknamed Niger, Lucius the Cyrenian, Manaen, an advisor to the ruler Herod, Saul.” (Acts 13.1)
We live in a world with unlimited views of God. I was tugged into experiencing and learning from Another. Everyone involved knew that we had differing views. There was no attempt to change my perspective. I found myself saying yes to an invitation to walk with someone. Even in the short time we had together, I found myself walking away with more than before. My view of the God in my life has a greater focus because of their gift. My understanding of God’s family, where you and I have great roles to play, increased. My awareness of the Presence that is available to all, heightened.
We have many perspectives. We live in a place where we are family. We can learn and help each other. We can respect and honor those who confuse us as well as those that agree with us. The invitation to participate, nurture, and contribute is open to everyone. The unknown is our response; today we can let others touch our lives and in turn make a difference.