Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson
For most of us, our walk of faith exists within the walls of a church. But others find themselves drawn to walk out their faith in the world.
I meant to begin this column last night, but other commitments got in the way. And so when I went to bed and fell asleep, I discovered that my dutiful mind began to write it without me.
Around 3:30 a.m. I woke from a fascinating dream conveying the opening sentence of this column. Unfortunately, I was too tired to get out of bed and write down what I'd seen, so I reminded myself to think of it again in the morning.
Incredibly I did remember it, and I'll share it with you. But first I want to tell you what inspired the dream, today's essay, and an understanding of this weekly column's name.
On a recent Saturday morning, I met Maggie Ducayet for coffee at The Crown on Main Street in Breckenridge. Maggie is a remarkable woman, one of those people with a unique talent for organizing and getting people involved in her good works.
I met Maggie a year ago when I was new in town. By the end of our luncheon that day, she'd invited me to join a weekly prayer shawl knitting group. Next, I was participating in a team she leads serving community dinners at St. John's Episcopal Church. Over the past year, she's organized several other fundraising projects which I am simply too exhausted to keep up with.
On this most recent Saturday morning, we met to talk about a foundation she helped to found fifteen years ago, Summit in Honduras. Their tag-line says it all: "Making a difference in the lives of children and families in rural Honduras."
Summit in Honduras was started in Breckenridge and is still based here. It reflects the spirit of volunteerism and the desire to help those in need that I continue to discover throughout Summit. We are a community with a huge heart for helping others.
Summit in Honduras is a small organization that leverages its impact exponentially by partnering with other humanitarian agencies such as Rotary chapters of Summit County and Santa Barbara, Potters for Peace, and Serving at the Crossroads, to provide medical supplies, build and equip schools, fund micro-enterprises, and provide mechanisms for clean water.
You can become involved: there are medical and construction trips to Honduras at least once a year. You can also donate, knowing that 100% of donated monies fund projects that benefit the people of Honduras. Go to: summitinhonduras.org to learn more.
Over our Saturday morning coffee, Maggie described a lifetime of pursuing God, with her faith blossoming into a passion for helping others, working with underprivileged youth first in Chicago, then Houston, and now in Honduras.
As I listened, I understood why this column is rightfully called "Walking Our Faith."
Walking my faith is an internal journey of reading and thinking and praying to know better what it means to have a relationship with God, and reporting back to you what I discover.
For Maggie, walking her faith means taking her love for God and walking it out into the world. There she gives God's love to others.
This attitude seems entirely in line with the life of Jesus Christ. Did he teach in grand temples exclusive to the wealthy and scholarly? No. Jesus went out into the world and never turned away from our poverty and imperfection.
On dusty roads, he healed a woman who only dared to touch the hem of his robe. By a stream, he healed a man blind from birth. In a field, he fed 5,000 hungry souls who didn't have enough to eat, and then he filled their hearts with a love that endured forever.
Jesus would never have reached so many people if he had remained within the walls of a temple. By living his ministry in the world, he demonstrated that his saving message of love is for everyone. And he wants us to follow his example.
Around a dinner table, he drank wine, broke bread and gave us not only a way to remember him, but in our communion, he shows us that we are all fed and loved equally by God.
As for my strange dream? It went like this: It was night, and I was walking beside a towering wall of marble grasping a wooden railing. Just in front of me, a dense forest of towering blue spruce stood, separated from me by a narrow strip of well-manicured lawn.
I saw a woman walk into the woods, and I wondered if she would get lost. And then a voice inside of me said, "No, look closely."
When I did, I saw a beam of light streaming from her heart, lighting her way through the dark woods. And the voice said, "That Light, the light of Jesus Christ, will light her way."
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson is the author of A Map of Heaven and other books. You can reach her at: Suzanne@suzanneelizabeths.com or www.facebook.com/suzanneelizabeths