They Inspire Us

They Inspire Us

Tuesday turned out to be an extremely special day for us – with two watershed encounters of inspiration, affirmation and joy.  We were on a work-related retreat Ocean Grove, New Jersey, and these two experiences still leave us filled with gratitude, awe, excitement and promise.  As we continue to grow our non-profit, we need these watershed moments.  We know strongly that this is the work to which we’ve been called and which we’ve been created to do.  But we still have moments of doubt.  Our budget is extremely tight.  We worry at times that enough financial support will not come in.  Will we have enough?  Will this really work?

But deep down inside we know that it can – and that it will.  Tuesday’s encounters are monumental reasons why.  When we engage with others who follow their calling and gifts, and who accomplish great things as they follow,  we are reminded that we, too, have the ability to accomplish something meaningful when we follow ours.

The first moment of inspiration came with an hour-long phone conversation with one of our favorite and inspirational authors, Tim Madigan.  His book, which we referenced several blogs ago – I’m Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers – is one of the more significant reasons why we have established this non-profit.  In the book, as Tim writes movingly about his seven-year close and deep relationship with Fred (Mr.) Rogers, he recalls how Fred played a lasting and profound role in his life.  Their relationship enabled Tim to open up his heart and soul in ways he had never opened them before.  It enabled him to show a vulnerability that had never been shown before.  It enabled him to know that as a male he did not have to “suck it up” or keep it in or keep all together.  It enabled him to express parts of himself – healing parts of himself – that he had never believed he was allowed to express before.  And it enabled him to know that he was not alone in his feelings or fears, that he was in the company of many – if not most – other men, needing affirmation, intimacy and connection.  It enabled him to know that his life has significance.  We encourage you to read his book, I’m Proud of You, and to check out Tim’s website –  Look him up on Facebook too.  He is a man of great empathy and eloquent humility and is very refreshing in his openness.

The second came when we visited Michele Gannon. Maria McKeon and Janice Barra at Mary’s Place By the Sea.  These women are doing incredible work.  They felt called and led to open a house for women living with cancer, to come – for respite, for rest, for relaxation, for renewal.  A place by the ocean – of calm, serenity and release.  A place for these women, threatened by disease and filled sometimes with fear and great uncertainty, to come and for a time, step back from it all and find relief.  Just being in the house, just being in the presence of the women who founded and operate Mary’s Place, is very tranquil and moving.  They have taken a risk in faith to establish a place where healing of the spirit, of the soul and of the mind can emerge, so that greater healing of the body might occur.  They offer their services for free and like we do, they depend on the generosity of good people and organizations of good will to provide the funds needed to keep on serving.  Visiting this place and with them, we came away believing that there really are extraordinarily compassionate and giving people who dedicate their lives to giving hope and help to others.  We encourage you, too, to visit their website and check them out on Facebook to see all that they do.

Our prayer is that our day of inspiration, affirmation and joy can serve for you as a reminder of the very real and active confidence that so many in our midst are giving, so that all of us may know that none of us are truly alone in this journey we call life.


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