When I think of the word inspire — I think of people like Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr and Jim & Elizabeth Elliott.
I still remember standing at the car wash waiting for my car when a colleague from work pulled in and asked me, if I’d heard the news?
It was everywhere — on all the media channels. It was the day after the tragic death of Princess Di.
A few days later when I scanned the newspaper headlines, I noticed that Mother Teresa had passed away but her story took up a small corner of the page.
The very little that I know of Mother Teresa has inspired me to love — to truly love — those whom the world seems unworthy. I love that she loved the lowliest outcast of the streets of India.
At the prayer breakfast in Washington D.C., she asked the then President Clinton to stop killing the unborn babies. She said if America didn’t want them, she and her sisters would gladly take them. That takes courage. That takes knowing your identity as a child of God — as a daughter of the King of kings.
I think of Martin King Jr. and the courage he had to stand for truth and justice. To do so, cost him his very life. Because of him and other trail blazers, we have greater equality and freedom in America.
And lastly, I think of Jim & Elizabeth Elliott’s story. Jim died at the tender age of 29 along with four American missionaries in the jungles of the Amazon in Ecuador. He obeyed God and went to share the Gospel among the Auca Indians. And before they even had a chance to share the God’s truth with them, they perished.
Jim’s wife, Elizabeth, and their young daughter stayed in the jungle and years later, she was invited to live among the very tribe that killed her husband. The Aucas eventually came to believe in the Lord Jesus. I had the opportunity to meet one of them at a Steve Curtis Chapman concert. He was there with Steve Saint, son of one of the five young men who lost their lives.
These are among my modern day heroes of the faith who inspire me to walk out my faith. There’s a whole chapter in the Bible in Hebrews 11, that tells about biblical heroes of faith, which also inspire me.
I find it hard at times, living in this materialistic world, when the focus is on acquiring things and wealth, to not also want to join that race. Yet, all of these people — those who lived sold out for Jesus often had very little to show for in this world.
I can’t wait to get to heaven to see what their reward will be. I’m sure the joy of seeing the people their lives touched will be more than enough.
How about you? Who inspires you?