Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

Well, now that All Saints Day has come and gone, I am still thinking about both Saints and "saints."

We celebrated all the "official" saints on Sunday, but I often find myself sitting in church during All Saints Day thinking about literally the hundreds of saints who have crossed my path in my own life. They will never be recognized in anyone's church, but they are saints just the same. They'll never get the nice "whitewash" treatment real saints get (ever notice how as the "official" saints become legends, they become more deity-like and less imperfect?) so when I think of their "saintliness," I also see their dirty robes and muddy feet.

Some of them don't even get my admiration for the rest of their life. I have a few "saints" in my life who now, won't even speak to me, and consider me a terrible sinner at this point, and I consider them jerks. But there was a window in time where they truly WERE saints, and reached out and fed me when I most needed their sustenance.

I never quite know what to do with those "saints." It seems counter-intuitive--if they're a "saint" then we should always be in this lifelong state of good feelings about each other, right?

Some of them, I don't even know where they are anymore. Our paths crossed, and we both went on with our lives, and I lost track of them, in that way people lose track of each other. I think about them now and then, and wonder where they are, and occasionally would like to find them, contact them, and see what their lives are like now. Oddly enough, mostly I do not act on that urge. Something tells me that if I contacted them, we would not be where we were with each other in that time, and trying to re-create a moment in my past just wouldn't work. We'd try to be good to each other, but really wouldn't have the time or energy to do it, and it wouldn't be the same anyway. We no longer share enough of our lives to make it work. Sometimes those "saints" have contacted me. I found myself being more UNcomfortable than comfortable about it, because I sensed to re-create the relationship was now more work than it might be worth. These encounters often sort of started with "let's keep in touch more," I go, "Sure," and it kind of just doesn't happen and dies a natural death again.

I think that is why the "official" saints matter to me. It is what creates stability in the comings and goings of the "saints" in my life. The "official" ones will always be around. I can think of their lives and remember the "unofficial" ones in my own life, and the "offiicial" ones can act as representatives.

Rarely, I think about the possibility that I am a "saint" in this world. I don't like to think about it much, as I know all my flaws better than anyone, and my knowledge of myself as a sinner gets in the way of thinking of myself as a "saint." But I suspect I have been one. I just don't like to admit it.

The timelessness of the "official" saints reminds me that all those episodes revolving around my personal "saints" are also timeless. I may never see them again in my life, I may never talk to them again in my real life, I may be on the "outs" with some of them for the rest of my life, but perhaps at the moment of death I will be reunited again with their saintliness, and it will be "all good." That's a lot of what "in hope of the Resurrection" means to me. Is that a "saintly" thought in itself?



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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