Grateful in Indianopolis

Tonight, getting ready for bed, I said prayers of gratitude for the day:

  • For the inspiring Wilbur Awards banquet I just enjoyed, with touching stories that inspired me to revive this blog, even if life doesn’t afford me the luxury of front-line journalism right now
  • For the flight that I caught after missing my scheduled flight this morning after convincing US Border guards that letting me attend the World Association of Christian Communicators meeting wasn’t a national security risk
  • That my ankle injury that flared up last night calmed down enough for me to take an hour walk tonight
  • For good conversations with like-minded strangers around the banquet table tonight.

The inspiring stories included one about strangers annonymously paying each others' McDonalds' bills in honour of an 8-year old cancer victim in Michigan last Christmas (“Paying It Forward”). That one’s close to home, because my mother’s battling cancer across the river in Windsor, Ontario, right now. Her ability to have a good day virtually every day is helping me reframe things. In the scheme of things, missing a flight is not so bad. I’m so grateful to be on this trip, and meeting these friends, and hearing these stories firsthand. Mom hasn’t been out of her home (or now, the hospice) for 11 months. In fact, she hasn’t been out of bed for 3 weeks – and that’s recent for her!

I’m grateful that Elie Wiesel, at 82, is still wondering out loud why God was silent during the holocaust, while inspiring us all to break our own silence in the face of injustice, since our collective voice still seems to be eclipsed by horrors (“Oprah and Elie Wiesel: Living With an Open Heart”).

I’m touched by the life view of Hassidic Jewish families, who opened their homes in New York to Oprah Winfrey to share it with us – although they’ve never heard of her, as abstainers from television and the Internet (“America's Hidden Culture”).

I was especially touched by Eva Kor, an Auschwitz survivor, who now, at age 78, has finally found forgiveness for the Nazis, and is encouraging other survivors to forgive them as well ("Eva Kor’s Journey for Peace").

I’m so encouraged by these, and the other recipients of the 2013 Wilbur awards, that I want to write all night! While the spirit is willing, the body is weak, from packing late, rising early, and too many hours in airports. I’ll share more stories in the coming days.