Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Saints in Our Midst

Serious post today…yeah, I know – I don’t do serious very often, but it’s MY blog and I can be serious if I want to. If you can’t handle serious, just go away. For the day. But come back tomorrow, okay?

Anyway, (wow – look at all that rhyming there – pure coincidence, I’m tellin’ you…) Sunday was All Saints Day (another rhyme – I’m killin’ myself here) – and so, while at church Sunday morning, our pastor spoke about, well – saints. Duh. During the course of the sermon, he asked, “Who are the saints in our midst?” He had everyone in the congregation look around, and then write down the name of someone in the church who is an “exemplary Christian person.”

After the service, someone walked up to me and said, “I wrote you down.”

I immediately felt uncomfortable…like a fraud. My breathing quickened, my palms turned sweaty, and my heart rate sped up. Why is that, I wonder? Is it because we alone know our own worst secrets – our own worst faults – the things we struggle with most? How can I possibly be a saint?

I don’t feel saint-like…not at all. One of the things I struggle with is selfishness. As much as I try to remember that it’s not about me – well – sometimes I make it about me. My wants. My needs. My comfort. My discomfort.

This is true no matter where I am in the world. I can be on a disaster assignment with the American Red Cross – or in the jungles of Guatemala - and I can be thinking of how tired I am…or how hungry I am…or how I miss my nice, warm bed…or most of all – how I miss my family. I forget why I’m really there – and I turn my focus on me. Sometimes.

I struggle with impatience. With my own kids. With hubby. With cretin-like drivers on the road. With people who are lazy and unmotivated. I have to really practice patience.

My biggest struggle, though, is with forgiveness. If someone has wronged me – I can carry it to the grave. Most especially if they don’t ask for forgiveness. Do I know this is wrong? Of course I do…and yet – I carry on, nursing the hurt and the anger and the grudge.

And yet – Jesus said two things were most important, above all else. He said, “Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart. And love your neighbor as yourself.”

I can do that. In fact, I DO do that. My mission trips and volunteer work are my love in action, both for my neighbors, as well as Him. So, maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Maybe I’m doing all right, after all. Maybe this guy had every right to write my name down…?

Who are the saints in your midst? Have you told them what they mean to you? They may feel funny – or uncomfortable – but they’ll ultimately be blessed by it. Don’t wait until they’re gone and you eulogize them. Tell them now. Let them know. Let them be blessed.



moses said...

I enjoyed reading this post.It was funny and I love your sincerity.

I am a volunteer with Youth With a Mission and telling one another what they mean and how precious they are is part of what we do in our base on a regular bases.

Many times on mission field, I face the same struggles with myself. Thinking about my families back home but the words of my "saints" always lift my spirit to move on with the work of the Kingdom.

Melinda said...

This was a great post! It came into my RSS feed first thing this morning and it's exactly what I needed to read!