Saturday, November 1, 2008

For All the Saints

"Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven..." Matthew 5:12

On the day of All Saints', November 1st, we remember all those who have departed this life. Those who have been models for us on how to live, and those who have challenged our faith in their living. Some have done us great good and some have done harm in their lives. All are now at rest, in a world spoken about but never understood completely by the living. Whatever you make of All Saints' Day, I can't help but thinking of all the wonderful people who have, by their living, empowered me to live for Christ. My Dad was always ready to laugh and sing, and was serious about his faith. A good scholar but a better friend. My sister older Pegi, who was a great teacher and an even better sister. She loved playing games and music and never missed an opportunity to celebrate. My friends, Pua and Charlie who made everyone welcome and fought tirelessly for the rights of Native Hawaiians. My friend Janie, who first gave me a job and then gave me a real understanding of what it meant to be a hero. As I think about them, many, many others come to mind - so great a cloud of witnesses -that I can't begin to name them all without going on forever.

Whatever I do today, I want to give thanks for the extraordinary gifts I have been given by these people who loved so well. None were perfect but all lived life fully and gave those around them their all. They told stories, painted pictures, preached, laughed, cried, and wrapped their arms around many suffering folks. Whatever I do today, I want to live by their example -love lived out in the every day. I pray that we might all have the courage to live love fully and offer ourselves to those around us, today and everyday, in thanksgiving for the incredible witnesses that have gone before.

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