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A Saint's Portion




These days. I've been thinking of Saints. Of the ones that go missing in the history books. Those everday Saints we pass and never know. Not aware of what they've sacrificed. Offered up with their lives. The things they walked away from for some good reason or another. Or the burdens of others they silently carried. The thousands of good deeds not attributed to them. Gone unseen and unrecorded. Today we celebrated All Saints Day in the tiny chapel where I attend church. It was a simple service. A few prayers said, a few good words shared, a few hymns sung, then communion offered, received. Afterwards, we gathered for a little while to break bread, have fellowship, and swap some stories. It was a fine time when all is said and done. I once heard someone who is Eastern Orthodox read an essay she had written about the Saints. Her words were so beautiful. Both in the writing and the reading. I reflected afterwards I couldn't have said those Saints names correctly for a good amount of gold. Sometimes I think of things like how I might not be able to relate to all saints but I can relate to Saint Leonard Cohen. (No derespect meant at all.) But when I hear his music in such a way it heals a broken place in my soul. And I think maybe this too, is the work of saints. Offering their gifts to the world for the healing of souls they will never meet. And I think of all those everyday saints. It's part of who I am. Wanting to clearly see the unseen, the shy and broken down. To have maybe a saints share of compassion. And most of the people I know and encounter want this. To have a Saint's portion of caring- even when they don't know it yet I have faith it's in there, like a sleeping seed that just needs to be watered. Awakened. When I was a little girl and we lived in Germany my mother had shipped her convertible Oldsmobile over there which now seems so elaborate but I understand this act. We lived in a tiny 3rd floor apartment in military housing but that car was a glory. A real beauty. White, red leather interior, and an engine that purred. We frequently went for long drives through the German countryside, me five years old and riding shotgun. And out in the middle of nowhere, in an open field there would be the tiniest little chapel and she'd stop the car on the side of that empty highway. We'd walk through the field, pause at the door, then open it and step inside. And not once, not ever, was there anyone there. Yet, always a candle burned where someone had come to kneel, to pause, to pray. And on all Saints Day I remember the mystery of that moment. That sense of someone having bowed to an unseen God in faith and supplication. Like the ghost of a Saint had come and gone and walked off into the nothing of the fading light.

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