This morning we will celebrate All Saints Day at church. A Sunday to remember all those we have lost in the last year. On this Sunday Pastor Jason will stand and say the names of the church members we have lost in the last year. We, as the church, are then invited to stand and speak the names of those in our own lives who we know and have been impacted by who have passed away in that same time period. This is the second time I will stand and utter the name of one of my colleagues.
I mean, officially, saints aren’t usually alive. But when I think of someone who “is a saint” I think of the people I see every day who embrace the brokenhearted and care for the wounded. I used to think being a saint meant that you were soft spoken and never said a bad word and sat still and maybe prayed a lot. I don’t believe much of that now. To me a saint is someone who is silent in the darkest hour with you. A saint is someone who will stand up and raise their voice when they spot injustice. And saint is still when you need them close but at the same time they are always on the move.
I also happens to be that November is National Family Caregiver month. I learned this from another #keepingitrealyo mom who’s blog is awesome. If you want to learn more about caring for ill family members head over to Meredith’s blog or website to see how family caregivers are exceptional people. The strong people who care for their acute or chronically ill family members I consider saints among us. Amidst all this saints and caregiving talk I thought to myself: who are the saints that surround me?
Some are obvious. For me, they are parents and best friends who change their plans and pick up my kids from school when I can’t leave the hospital and the Pastor is gone. They are the friends who offer hot coffee, a seat on the couch and a blanket in their home to this doc who sometimes feels she is always hosting and listening without a break. I also count as saints those doctors and nurses and hospital staff who take care of the most vulnerable women in our state and provide empathy through some of the most difficult situations life can present someone with. Others that come to mind are the incredible women who have patiently and passionately taught my oldest each year in school and I hope will have the privilege of teaching her sometimes out of control younger sister. I also believe the chaplains and pastors who make space to visit the ill, the dying and the homebound are a clear reflection of Jesus.
Today we will read the words below as we recite the names of those who have gone before us. Pastor Jason will remind us to find comfort and peace in the naming of names and I will be reminded to look for the saints around me and try to continue the work to bring the Kingdom of God near.