I'll Walk Beside YouSign up for Life Tree RetreatPeer Ministry applications due Feb. 6Wangerin Preaching Series continues Feb. 22Making a prayer requestChinese Bible study offeredScheduling a WeddingChapel plans additionStudent Jobs for 2014-15Stories of ResilienceWhat Tomorrow HoldsListening and speaking across the divide2014 Advent VespersPets provide comfort on campusCome, Lord JesusTo Whom are You Thankful?Play TimeFetter Memorial ServiceShipwrecked at the stable doorIt's Never Too LateHarvest Party is SaturdayServing up social justice and soupAll Saints 2014The Tree Grows Around the WireA Great Cloud of WitnessesWomen invited to meet Susan BriehlPrejudice as a false godWhat will you do after Valpo?Upcoming Organ EventsChurch Voc RetreatCROP Walk 2014To everything there is a seasonGod doesn't do fractionsGospel of Mark eventA prayer for todayMonday, MondayBeginningsChapel Late NiteSix WordsIn praise of doubting disciplesGoing Ahead of YouThis Changes EverythingLord, have mercyWe are [not] our workAs we speak...Service in small stepsDoes Jesus really mean that?Unexpected BlessingsOn the deaths of artistsWinter reflection: What is really necessary?The insects outnumber usHeading for HomeA prayer wave for hungerFor such a time as thisWhat do we say to such things?Can we learn to be happy?Lesson from the treesTheology of a Break UpIn praise of Plan BA letter to HannahThe dance of beauty and eternityCatch up timeThe end of accusationInspiration at the "Y"Growing into her grandmother's wisdomInstrument of peaceA seat at the tableBidden or not biddenArchived News
Inspiration at the "Y"

exercise

She seemed somewhat out of place.  She is an elderly woman, bent at the waist with stooped, rounded shoulders.  Her view of the world comes from looking up, as she twists her neck toward the sky to compensate for the way in which her body is curved toward the ground. Her arms look skinny and frail. Her legs seem pencil thin.  Her gait has its own unique cadence.

And yet, yesterday at the “Y,” she became my inspiration. For me, it was one of those “I’m-not-sure-I-have-what-it-takes” kind of days as I faced my exercise routine. The weights seemed heavier. The tasks seemed more arduous, and the laps seemed longer.

And then I saw her. As I was forcing myself not to quit early while walking my laps, I looked down into the fitness center, and there she was – this little, aged, bent-over woman, climbing up to, of all things, the pull up machine.  She took hold of the hand grips, stepped up to the platform, grabbed the bars above her head, and there she went – pulling herself up.  Once, twice. I slowed my walking pace so that I could count. Twenty pull-ups, in a graceful, strong, sure rhythm.

Who seemed out of place now?  Certainly not this little, elderly woman. In a moment, she went, in my mind, from the “stooped-little-woman” to the “pull-up lady.” What a gift. What an inspiration!

I do not know her name. I do not know her story. By the time I finished my laps, she was gone. I may never see her again, but she became for me, an inspiration. God spoke to my heart through her actions, through what I saw in her, and I was reminded that such is the way of God. Sometimes God’s clearest messages for us come in unexpected places through unexpected people. Sometimes our inspiration for the day comes in the midst of the ordinary.

As you go through your day today, I encourage you to look around. See beyond what you normally see. What is there to inspire you? And then remember that someone unexpected may be watching you. What inspiration might you be for that unsuspecting someone? What inspiration might God work in someone else’s life through the ordinariness of who you are and what you do?

God Bless Your Inspiration –

+Pr. Char

9/24/13

Rev. James A. Wetzstein and Rev. Charlene M. Rachuy Cox serve as university pastors at Valpo and take turns writing weekly reflections.