Well, today is All Saints' Day! Over the past five years, I have grown in my appreciation and understanding of the saints, and I think it should be a feast day that all churches, from the highest of high churches to the lowest of low churches, celebrate with gusto! It reminds us our faith is ours because of the faithful yet broken people throughout the generations who have continued to tell the story, even in the midst of overwhelming persecution, of God's redemptive work. We truly stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us. I like how Fred Pratt Green sums it up in his hymn:
"Rejoice in God's saints, today and all days!
A world without saints forgets how to praise.
Their faith in acquiring the habit of prayer,
their depth of adoring, Lord, help us to share."
So, what saint (picking from outside of your family or local congregation) has impacted your faith journey the most?
I have many ideas - St. Benedict, St. Augustine, David Nyvall, Lina Sandell - but I think two that I always come back to are Corrie and Betsie ten Boom. These were two Dutch sisters who lived together during the Nazi occupation of the 1940s. When the plight of Jews became severe, they risked everything to hide them in their house because they believed that Christ's call extended love to everyone. Even when Betsie lay dying in the concentration camp, she looked around at guards and prisoners alike and whispered to Corrie, "Tell them there is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still." I think that may be one of my favorite quotes in the whole world. Betsie did die in Ravensbruck, but Corrie survived and lived her life determined to tell people about God's love and forgiveness, even coming face-to-face with one of her former concentration camp guards and extending the hand of forgiveness despite her inner turmoil. She wrote this story in her autobiography, The Hiding Place, which I would recommend highly if you want to know more about these women. Here's a picture of them (from left to right: Betsie, Corrie, and their sister Nollie):
So, that's my pick.
One of my new running pet peeves: when I'm listening to an audiobook and the reading is drowned out by the sound of the el or sirens. It always seems to happen at key moments in the story. I know, not a real problem, but annoying.
I saw a big jug of aloe vera juice at Trader Joe's and almost barfed all over it. Unless I somehow fall asleep on a beach with my mouth open and get sunburn on the back of my throat, I'm not drinking aloe vera juice.
Okay...off to World Relief. Happy All Saints' Day!