Saturday, November 1, 2014

NaBloPoMo- Day One: Of Saints and Sojourners

It's All Saints' Day and it's also the start of National Blog Post Month, and I care about both. November 1 is one of my favorite holidays because I have long loved the notion that "we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses." We are all the sum of our experiences, our genetics, and our relationships. I am so very grateful for the people who have shaped all of those for me. Tomorrow morning in worship we'll attempt to create some space for remembering those we've loved who are part of the Church Triumphant by offering people strips of fabric in autumn colors on which they can write the name or names of those who have died. We'll collect them, and tie the strips to the branches of a shapely, bare tree in the church yard. It'll be a prayer tree. I hope it's well received. There is no shortage of names to write down. I'll likely write down Betsy's name tomorrow. Not a day goes by that I do not recall her smile and zest for living or quote her, recalling her tenacious hold upon recounting that which is of good report. I met Betsy in 2003. She was the clerk of Session at the church I currently serve, and was deeply involved in almost every part of the life of the congregation. She was a dream of a church member and a person who loved deeply. When she passed away, so many women claimed her as their best friend. She made everyone she encountered feel loved. She packed so much living into sixty short years.
There's a hymn that sings of living saints, and I have a slideshow in my head of those folks, too. There's my spouse, who plays with pain every day and works so hard at not letting it interfere with living. There's the woman in Indianapolis who is changing lives every day simply by living out her vow to the rule of St. Benedict. There's my colleague in ministry in New York who has lived the last 40+ years with an abiding concern for the poor and disenfranchised that has transformed thousands of lives. I am so grateful for the journey, and grateful for those whose paths have crossed my own.
Quilt image found here. Path image found here.


Mary Beth said...

Thanks for your thoughts on living saints. My husband also has chronic pain and I marvel at his willingness to keep on keeping on.

Dingwoman said...

Living saints indeed! Thank you for reminding me of all that surrounds, here and now. You are a blessing Jennifer.