I first met Jean Vanier in Trosly in the summer of 1975 when worked there as an assistant in the garden. One day at a gathering of the community Vanier read the Parable of the Mustard Seed. He asked 'how can we build this kingdom for Jesus.' One of my friends from the garden team jumped up excitedly and said 'we will plant mustard seeds'. We smiled and clapped our hands. It was a moment of joy and understanding . Thank you Jean for planting mustard seeds.Collette
I read a message from Jean Vanier every day. As a minister in rural parishes, I am very focused on community in its many forms and constantly find wisdom in Jean Vanier's words.
I am a mother of 6 who had seen several poignant interviews of Jean Vanier and have been touched by his words. I used to read to the children from many of his story books like "Walk with Jesus," much prior to even knowing who he was, and his words always took me to that place of "stillness." I am currently reading Kathryn Spink's book "The Miracle, the Message, the Story. It is so powerfully rich and revealing of the interwoven relationships between Jean, Pere Thomas and the several, necessary others whom God strategically placed at the right place and at the right time in Jean Vanier's life. There's something about his story that I so desperately want to be a part of mine...but not sure how or when...until then I keep going towards the message of Jean Vanier...layers and layers of truth.I thank God for all that he's gone through and done.
I was a young adult searching for direction and vision when I first came across his books. I myself have been involved with communities and volunteering groups...and to put simply, Vanier's words became a revelation to me.I was moved by Vanier's outlook, in particular, the way he looked at people. It was as if he'd unlock something wonderful with his dedication and experience. I was in tears when I came across his testimony of chidren with "radiant faces" in his memoirs.If he reads this, at part me would wish to speak and learn from him. He is my hero. He is my light.
I am so thankful for the life, teachings, and writings of Jean Vanier. I am also grateful for the opportunity to volunteer and now be an Associate Member of L'Arche Toronto. This has indeed been a transforming part of my journey as a follower of Jesus. Jean Vanier has helped so many of us live out more fully the life God calls us to: a life of love, compassion, patience, respect, forgiveness and so much more. It is a great strength to journey together.
In gratitude for Jean Vanier,a man of celebration who has always urged us not to just talk and talk. Do and make the world a better place.