John is friend, brother, mentor, spiritual director, and the main human inspiration of my life. Fifty years of friendship, working together, praying, speaking, and listening has formed my heart and given purpose and deep human insight into my life journey. No other person has impacted my story as much as Jean Vanier. He is the same to literally hundreds of people world-wide. His life, like the life of Jesus, is a witness to what being 'truly human' is all about. He carried the secret of the Gospel in his heart, his life, his writing, acting and speaking. He is a giant enfleshed in weakness. Words cannot capture the man, but he is God's Beloved Son, with us today. What a gift for the world.
Jean Vanier is an inspiration for my whole life. I was in Arche in Trosly/France, after in Arche in Landsberg am Lech/Germany, I visited Arche Kenya, and this summer I will go back to Arche Landsberg. Arche for me is home, doesn't matter the country. The spirituality and the message that God discovered to Jean Vanier changed me and my friends.
Jean is an amazing man who is able to show us how we are all connected. This may not be an earth-shattering story, but to the woman who needed a place to stay and an understanding ear it is. In Chicago more than a decade ago, Jean came to speak to our community about forgiveness. I was so touched by his insight that I realized I had to learn that I need forgiveness in order to be able to forgive others. Many people use the term "this changed my life". But, it did. With his books and discussions he writes what he believes-that we all need each other.
We have had the pleasure of meeting Jean a few times and he showed us examples of humility, sincerity and love to all people. What an inspiration he is to us all. I remember that after the long day in London, at the convention center, he stood at the front after the talk and held out his hand to say hello to the throngs of people who wanted to be in his presence. We are blessed to have 3 homes in London where love abounds and differences are celebrated.
I smile when I think of Jean Vanier's committment to people and life, as it all makes sense. His inspirational words have brought me back to a vulnerable place where I can continue my peaceful walk. To me, this is a grand gift!.....