Inspiration strikes you when you least expect it: a beautiful sunset in the desert sky, a friend miraculously cured from cancer, a baby’s giggle filling a room when all around are in sadness. Moments like this literally take our breath away.
This past week I was left breathless and inspired at the same moment. My daddy Jim, the man whose love for my mother gave me life, breathed his last breath. It was a sudden death that brought him into eternal life. His life inspired me in more ways than a three minute eulogy can ever proclaim and to this moment he continues to inspire me.
On the day of his funeral, walking behind his casket, holding my mother’s hand, inspiration arose so softly, so sweetly, so peacefully. You see my father never got the chance to walk me down the isle as a bride, a dream most every girl dreams of since childhood. But, at that moment my father was walking me down the aisle. Beneath the cross, before the altar of sacrifice, surrendering his earthly life, my father led me down the aisle to my heavenly bridegroom and handed me over to Christ. A calm came over me like never before and an unspoken wisdom settled on my soul.
My father’s entire life was directed at leading me to heaven. At my baptism, together with my mother and Godparents, he submitted me to become a daughter of God. He surrounded me with family and friends who were men and woman of God and who showed me how to love, serve and embrace community. He lived his life with integrity and showed every person he encountered compassion, joy, and love. His life of faith and humility showed me how to love God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength, and to love my neighbor more than myself.
My father’s life led me to the most important bridegroom I will ever encounter, Christ. This awareness will inspire me every day to love more, to serve selflessly, and to allow my life to be a compass directed toward heaven for all I encounter. And on that day, if God so will’s it, that I walk down the aisle to my earthly bridegroom in Holy Matrimony I will be doing so not with my father by my side. Instead, he will be joining the choirs of angels and saints from heaven rejoicing in the union I long for most in this world, the union between Christ and His bride the Church.
Thank you papa for showing me how to get to heaven. That is the best aisle you could’ve ever led me down in this world. I love you and miss you. May every breath you breathed continue to inspire me every day.
Editor’s Note: This blog is part of a series of blogs that relate to our 2014 theme Inspire[d]. If you would like to submit about a blog about an Inspire[d] story that you have, please see these guidelines.