It takes a while to realize how impressive Claire Snyder is because she does not draw attention to herself. This is so rare that I find it as inspiring as all the other cool things she does.
These include working as a dialysis nurse, mentoring and tutoring kids in a struggling school, running marathons, and going on medical mission trips. Every strength she has is poured out for other people.
The tenacity she gained from running is imparted to women recovering from addictions as she coaches them to run their first race. She is as happy with their victories as she is with her own.
She shares her lovely house and good cooking freely – taking meals to people who are sick, taking in an exchange student, hosting countless holidays and celebrations with a quiet, under-the-radar efficiency.
I am blessed to be her friend and the regular beneficiary of her noticing kindness. A few weeks ago when she was handing out food at our local school, she heard me telling someone I couldn’t find a mask, and my bandana kept slipping. The next time I saw her, she presented me with a beautiful mask she had sewn, in my favorite colors, reinforced with a little strip of metal that keeps it in place!
Claire is not adventurous for adventure’s sake. She has to overcome her own fears and self-doubts to do the brave things she does. But that is what is so inspiring – she pushes through those feelings, prays for power and follows Jesus into suffering and need. She brings wisdom, compassion, humor and healing, day after day.
I cannot tell you everything she does because no one knows! I usually find out from other people. Suffice to say that Claire embodies the care of God, with a constant stream of empathic, humble, focused service. Claire is the hidden treasure of her church and her community.
Living through a pandemic that has killed 25,000 so far with no end in sight makes you appreciate people. So for such a time as this, a series on people who inspire me seems like a good idea. I’ll start with someone close to home. At home, actually:
It’s hard to find someone who just keeps getting up and doing the right thing every day. That’s what inspires me about Bill Scheid.
For thirty-two years he has put in tenacious workdays as an IT manager for Procter and Gamble problem solving how humans and technology best interact to keep his corner of a global business thriving.
For twenty-seven years he has stayed married to the same person (me, actually) with unwavering loyalty and devotion. Whatever it takeswhatever our differences, he is all in.
For twenty three years he has poured his energy into the well being of his three sons, taking them on wonderful vacations, coaching teams, helping with homework, teaching them skill after skill and always coming up with the next fun thing to do.
So many people benefit from knowing Bill. He lets his faith in Jesus influence every area of his life. At our church,College Hill Presbyterian, he teaches Sunday School, runs a men’s group, takes kids to camp.
His friendships have endured through decades. He faithfully visits his family and his in-laws. (Only Bill could have persuaded my mother to join him in dressing as a hockey player for her nursing home’s Halloween party!)
Bill is one of those people who walks into a room and can see right away what practical thing needs to be done to help. He’s the guy who puts the last chair away. He’s the guy talking to the quiet person at the party. He’s the guy bringing in donuts on Friday morning to cheer everyone up. Bill exemplifies a long, steady journey in the right direction, and does it with a good humor that inspires the same.