November 1st. All Saints’ Day. Our daughter, Heather’s birthday and good friend, Stan’s.
Growing up Baptist, we left the saint days to the Catholics who lived in our town. I’ve learned better, especially since Jud became one… a saint, not a Catholic.
Tomorrow night our church will observe All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days through liturgy and Gabriel Faure’s Requiem. It’s good and important to remember saints who’ve come and gone, blessed and influenced my life and yours.
November’s a noble month. Neither the sticky residue of candy-coated Halloweens nor commercial driven Black Fridays eliminate a day set aside for Thanksgiving and for many, a day or two to remember the saints who lived among us. I’m not thinking about folks like Saints Francis or Catherine of Siena, more like Aunt Teresa, story teller on WMBI when I, ages 3-6, sat listening, captivated in Chicago, Illinois, Miss Edith my Sunday School teacher, when I was nine years old and Daddy pastored Grove Street Baptist church in Dekalb, Illinois and Mama Frey from Sandy Plains Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia, when I was thirteen and free falling in ways only God knew and Mama Frey guessed.
Come tomorrow night, I won’t know where to begin or end my grateful list of noble men and women, saints among us: family, friends, teachers, neighbors, even strangers, who marked me through noble traits: courageous, generous, decent, virtuous, good, honest, moral. They led lives worth following, imitating.
Saint Paul, in Philippians 4:8 NIV, reminds me to think nobler, “Finally, whatever is true, NOBLE, right, pure, lovely, admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”
Lord, hear this prayerful hope, especially the day after the election, when we’ll need better thoughts, a fresh vocabulary and noble acts to heal ourselves, this country, no matter who wins.
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