And one was a doctor, one was a queen, one was a shepherdess on the green –
I come to this day each year in quiet awe for all the blessed people etched into the heart of our faith. This heart is strong and ever-growing. Each year more holy ones move within its beating space ready to offer us their story. We are renewed and encouraged by their example and wisdom – these people known to us as saints.
There are many saints who lived long ago and then there are the ‘saints’ we have known in this life. Humbled, I name a few; David, Harrison, Cathy, Vickie, Mary, Eva, Sam, Sid and forever my dear Beth. Some new names and some whose memory remains bright. It is good to have this holy day of All Saints. For one day of the year, I rest my need to figure out the mysteries of God and faith. I start the day with a promise to spend time remembering each saint that comes to mind. Ever thankful for their presence in my life – bright examples of God’s creativity, each called to reflect God’s sacred light.
A day to walk with the saints who have gone before us. A day filled with moments of surprise and tender memories. So I put on my comfortable shoes. carry some extra Kleenex and start into the day singing:
“For the saints of God are folk just like me, And I mean to be one too.
These words, spoken by a friend, continue to ring in my ears in the days that follow All Saints Day.
Belonging – the feeling this word can stir brings comfort to some and isolation to others. Be it family, school, city, faith community, nation, race… most people have a sense of where they belong or where they do not belong.
The definition of belonging has proved its power time and again throughout the course of history. It has planted the flags of countries who have fought for borders and stoked the fire of anger among races and creeds. It has created communities brave enough to swim against the stream of oppression, giving people meaning and purpose to their lives and opened doors to welcome the weary of body and soul.
Belonging is a two-sided word. On one side, its definition has created centuries of war and conflict as defiance; on the other side, its definition has opened the arms and hearts of people throughout the ages welcoming the needy and exiled as compassion.
Yet on a day such as All Saints, belonging, rises above these human struggles and passions. For a moment, “all-that-is” takes a deep breath of gratitude. Our memories are flooded with those beloved who have gone before us — and, for a moment we feel their imprint in the world and in our lives.
It is a good thing we are gifted with a day that slows us enough that our senses can move beyond the distractions of everyday living. A day when we can join in communion with all the saints – celebrating what “was and is and is to come”.
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