A Facebook friend of mine (and fellow Pastor), Maren Tirabassi, is a blessed writer. She has a gift for timely prayers that speak to current events or things she has observed in her own life. One particularly inspired prayer arose from a Squirrel dining on (and in one photo she shared, in) a post-Halloween Pumpkin. Her inspiration came from the cuteness of the image and the simple act of a creature enjoying the free meal offered in a discarded pumpkin.
My friend’s inspiration, however, is not found simply in things happening on the world stage or on her front porch. She is literally “Inspired” as well, as her reflections and prayers are led by God’s own breath of wisdom. That’s what “inspired” means; it means that the Holy Spirit is driving Maren’s actions, empowering her to give earthly life and breath into God’s work within her.
For me, as a writer, Maren’s inspired creations are a source of awe and wonder. She speaks to the heart of things in an honest way that goes straight to the heart. The way she picks up on Scriptural images and plays with them gives a depth of meaning and beauty that transcends simple understanding. Most incredible is the simplicity with which she offers her deepest thoughts and feelings; her prayers are easy to read and understand yet beautifully complex in the way she blends common phrases, Bible verses and her prayers.
Again, as a writer, I can recognize, however imperfectly, where Maren gets her inspiration. It is from real life, from the headlines, from the people and situations that influence and impact her. While I can’t claim to share any of her talent, we do have the source of inspiration in common. What I write about comes out of the people and situations that fill my life.
I share this common source of inspiration because I would like to invite you into my process of writing and preaching. Fantasy writers like Tolkien (Lord of the Rings) or Frank Herbert (Dune) seem to find inspiration out of thin air, creating fantastic characters, plot-lines and worlds that are, quite often, out of this world. Maren and I, on the other hand, find our inspiration here on earth, so what we write about reflects the real world in which we live and move.
Maren’s friendship and writing are part of my life, an inspiration to do a better job praying and preaching. That’s why I’m sharing these thoughts with you: you are all part of my inspiration. You help shape not only how I pray or preach, but what I pray or preach about as well. God blessed me with the ability to write, but it is you who bless me with content. God inspires me to serve others. You, in turn inspire me to serve God in a constant circle of inspiration that, I pray, allows me to share my gifts as best I can.