On All Saints’ Eve, I reflected on the saints of the world who put the demons to chase. Those brave and tireless souls who care for others, stand up to injustice, heal the sick, seek peace, and feed the hungry are held deep in my thoughts and prayers. They are the ones who give me energy and a glimpse into the possibilities that my own life holds. I think of the more well-known names – Gandhi, Rumi, Hildegard of Bingen, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, Oscar Romero, and so many more. These all have become in my eyes bigger than life. (Look them up if you are unfamiliar with them and their lives.)
To be in such great company as a person of faith is so very humbling. You and I are “surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1). The works and the love of these souls continue to inspire, challenge, and animate the life of faithful people.
Joan Chittister in her book, A Passion for Life: Fragments of the Face of God, has written about the people mentioned above and many others as well. Chittister confirms my experience:
“We call them saints when what we really often mean to say is “icon,” “star,” “hero,” ones so possessed by an internal vision of divine goodness that they give us a glimpse of the face of God in the center of the human. They give us a taste of the possibilities of greatness in ourselves.”
Halloween and All Saints’ Day have both come and gone. Our masks have been put away for another time. Here I stand, bare faced and ready to dare that others might see “a glimpse of the face of God.”
Dr. Jennifer Harrison (www.drjenniferharrison.com ) shared this quote from Marianne Williamson, “Your playing small does not serve the world.” Dr. Harrison asks the question, “What gifts do you have that you’re not sharing with the world? What’s holding you back from being your best self?”
Personally and professionally, I am feeling an urge to unleash the power! I’m not sure what that means, however I am open to explore my role, my place, and my work in the midst of that “great cloud of witnesses” and the great number of saints who gather at, work in, and serve through Deer Park and St. Andrew’s congregations. In so many, I see the “face of God.” Wonderful service is rendered. Care, compassion, and love are demonstrated in diverse acts of kindness and mercy.
I know more can be accomplished! What holds us back? What masks need to be taken off so that more of God shines through? What are the barriers? But better yet, what are our opportunities to move more and more beyond “playing small?” I welcome your thoughts and insights, conversations and dialogue. So, go ahead and share a gift and then another, and yet one more! Let’s discover what happens and know again the power of love.