Today is All Saints Day, and tomorrow All Souls Day — a doubleheader of my favorite holy days. I appreciate All Saints Day not only because it was the day Pippa was baptized, but also because it’s a feast that whose honor extends even to me. While I rejoice in remembering the feasts of my favorite hero-saints, there is no risk whatever that I would attain to that degree of the eminence. On the other hand, these days embrace even the least of the saints — people like me — and allot them a feast day. Those of us who miss the cut for “saints,” even loosely construed, are commemorated on All Souls.
So I think of the All Saints tapestries at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, but I also remember one of the very favorite things I’ve read online: Halley Suitt’s column called, “When My Dad Wakes Up Today.” If you haven’t read it before, go read it now and then come back. I can wait.
The punchline — “I’ve died and gone to heaven” — hit home to me especially this All Saints/Souls Day. I’ve had a fair helping of pastoral-care work to do on- and offline over the past few weeks, and have been touched by the sad circumstances of several other people who didn’t call on me as a pastor. As I reflected today on the beautiful souls who have entwined their lives with mine, as I think about Elway, and Halley’s dad, and Pem’s dad, and all the saints, I realize that even now, at every moment, I’m surrounded on every side by Pippa, Si, Nate, Margaret, and Juliet and Jennifer, and our family back east; by a tight and tremendous community of bloggers and readers, some with whom I email and message day by day, and others whom I will never know.
It’s not just Halley’s dad, but me, too: surrounded by so marvelous a cloud of witnesses, I can wake up with Jacob and say, “This is none other than the house of God, and this is the very gate of heaven!”
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Ok Akma Baby, you’re freaking me tonight. I was just thinking of you and I also blogged about this same post tonight! I’ll post it now — it’s been in draft this evening — and I wanted to thank you for how kind you were to me and helped me so much at that time.
I know you remember how I was in the hospital day after day as my dad was wasting away and our friendship was growing. I’d talked the librarian on the first floor into letting me use her terminal to blog and also to email you. There was a chapel next to the hospital library where I prayed. Seems a long time ago and NOT a long time ago.
Thank you again after all this time!
Love and Peace to you and yours — H