"Inspiration is not so much what you See, as what you Feel" --Marie Atwood
I published this quotation on the subject of inspiration not too long ago as a result of finding the truth of the statement in my own search for a particular type of picture. I saw an armload of beautiful pictures, but without the feeling in response to seeing there was no quiver of excitement that said, "Yes this is It."
Today as I worked, I glanced at my mother's picture sitting on a bookcase, and the feeling I had was an extension of my thoughts on this subject, and my mind told my heart, "Inspiration is a Mother."
Let me introduce you to her. Her name is Jewel and she was a jewel to many all her life. A teacher and avid learner she never ceased to be a student. She was gracious, hospitable, honorable, humble and submissive, yet she was a dynamo, a hard worker in all things. Actually she seldom rested unless her damaged feet let her know that she Had to. At that point she would say, "I think I will Have to lie down, but as an afterthought she would add, "Just for Five minutes." Now the irony was that in five minutes she would wake and be up and going again.
I admit that I both See and Feel when I look at this picture, and what I see is a woman of sweet character who could scare the pants off of you (if you needed it), who had the sweetest smile I have ever encountered and the bluest blue eyes imaginable. She had five children, made all of our clothes, cooked and put up food for the winter, didn't know what a refrigerator looked like, washed on a rub board after boiling the water first in a black iron kettle with a handle, over an open fire (which she had to build and haul water for.)
She kept a garden from which she canned and preserved and kept her house as free of dirt, spiders and snakes as it was possible to do and kept her children squeaky clean, polite and well-mannered. It makes me tired just to remember it all. The list could go on but I think you have the picture. I don't know how she did it, and am thankful that I am able to function in a different time and circumstance. She inspires me in ways that I could not even explain. She is my inspiration, my role model, my spiritual goal.
She taught Sunday Bible classes and summer classes in the neighborhood to which she walked three miles, one and a half each way. She made clothes for children who were destitute and meals for sick families. In addition, she went back to school to get a masters degree so she could go back to teaching after all but one of her five children were gone from home; then she added tutoring to the children in the neighborhood who said to each other "Ms. Hunter can do anything.
I despaired of coming any where near to her abilities, her stamina, her love for everyone, and though I no longer despair, I know that I will not because she was one of a kind, unique. However, as I stood beside her casket and held my gaze as long as possible, because it was for the last time,. I suddenly realized she was not what she was from the beginning but that moment before she went to her rest was the cumulative of doing her best. She became Jewel Agnes Smith Hunter gradually, day by day, moment by moment and I know that she never took her eyes away from the Savior. She gazed at Him with love and praise and the joy of obedience. I found this text in 2 Corinthians 3:18 and claimed it as my motto, and I will be so happy if you will claim it for yours. Paul speaks of the liberty we have as Christians which is that freedom to choose our path; but he also speaks of sin when he says "whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil (sin) is taken away. Then there is this verse "but we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. Don't forget the ending. We do not change ourselves, He changes us, sometimes, I'm sure by the tiniest little bit, but it is change. Don't forget to keep your eyes on Him. You won't regret it.