I enjoy learning about people of great faith. They are part of our spiritual history and we are connected to them. St. Patrick comes to mind this week, and last month we were reminded of Valentine. It is encouraging and motivating to know their stories.
There are also great examples of faith that don’t have a holiday associated with them. Some of my favorites include: William Wilberforce, a principled activist and British politician; Mother Theresa, a humble laborer of love to the poor; Onesimus, the Biblical servant turned disciple, who possibly compiled the letters for the New Testament; Anna, the prophetess, who faithfully ministered in the Temple for decades; C.S. Lewis, and so many other great thinkers and writers, who have helped me grow in my intellectual understanding of truth.
Yet some who have impacted me most strongly are names you likely would not know, but their influence has touched generations in bringing the kingdom. My parents have lived a quiet life of generosity and hospitality, investing not only in our family but also in many young people who have come through their home. My grandmother has a legacy of prayer and I can still picture her on her knees at night or seeing her lips move as she went about the day talking to God. There are so many others that have impacted me - leaders from decades ago that challenged me as I learned about God, women who modeled a life of faith and courage, and godly saints today that continue to encourage me. In each case, their daily obedience has had a ripple effect on those around them. Not with fanfare or celebration, but with the peaceful power of a life given to God.
In a culture that celebrates fame, it seems ministries, and even personal lives, are evaluated for the size of their public impact. And bless God for work He does on a grand scale. But most of us are called to live quiet lives of persistent obedience. And for some, that might be the greatest example of all.
Who has impacted your faith journey? Who are you impacting?