Halloween for those haunted by the holy.October 31, 2013
It’s the eve of anticipation of a festival
in which we gratefully remember and celebrate those dead
whom we have loved and learned from.
And who, by the grace of God,
inhabit our imaginations and the rhythms of our living so powerfully
but with the witness and whispers of wisdom, love and courage.
They reassure us that our lives may end at any age
and yet be known as complete, fruitful and honourable,
for life is not counted by an accruement of days;
each life ‘counts’ as only – yet wholly – and as holy – as one.
‘…the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body’ (Apostles Creed)
Our family has a tradition of hearing the stories of our personal saints, friends and family who have died, and also our public saints: public figures who have influenced us and stand as an example of holy, if complicated, living. We remember the defiance of Rosa Parks, the creative madness of Rich Mullins, the prolificity of Hildegaard, the imprecise passion of Keith Green, the subversion of Tyndale.
These ‘saints’, neither the public nor the personal, were not perfect or easy people. All the more encouragement to us in our lives, which are scaffolded in anxieties, insincerity, madness, depression, suppression, uncertainty, beligerence, laziness, awkwardness, flatness, folly.
Even more precious are the saints we have known in our everyday lives. Who we have lived with, sat in church, around the dinner table, on the beach, in class and by the bedside. To be sure, it’s a bittersweet thing to remember. For some of these names, though there is real joy in having shared their lives, the sadness and pain is still fresh, our cheeks barely dry from the tears of grief. And others, though years have passed, the pain of loss is deep and present still.
Remembering (among others)
Saint Christina of Nunawading
Saint Ed, Val and Bill of Silvan
Saint Janet of North Fitzroy
Saint Peter of Gippsland
Saint Geoffrey of Macleod
Saint Ron of Montrose
Saint Ross of Westgate
Saint Ellie of Moffat Beach
Who ‘helpfully’ haunts you, reminding you to live well from the past, in the moment, and mindful that there is yet much to come?
You, too are welcome name your saints here, in remembrance of them and with intention to heed their call to live truly and holy in grace.