We celebrate All Saints Sunday on Sunday. On that day we remember all the saints that have passed away over the past year. However there are saints in our life who have already gone before us and those who are still among us. One of my favorite seminary professors posted a quote this morning on his FaceBook account from Frederick Buechner's book "Now and Then." (I haven't read that book yet so I had to ask the professor which of Buechner's books it comes from. I will be reading this in the near future) The quote reads "More than anything else, to be a saint is to know joy, not happiness that comes & goes, but joy always there like an underground spring."
I love the image that this quote conjures up. For me it immediately reminds me of my mama...this wonderful woman of God who has lived most of my life with a mental illness. She is one of the most gracious people I know. I am not saying that she never gets sad because she does. She misses my sister and I and wishes we could visit more. I wish we could too. She misses her parents who have passed away. She mourned the loss of her marriage and our family when her and my dad divorced. Yet even through all these trials, she, more often, than not exudes joy! At our recent synod gathering, we were talking about joy and happiness etc. I used my mom as an example. Pure joy was seeing her face when my sister and I walked into her room at the nursing home/assisted living facility. Joy in my mom is like that underground spring always ready to burst forth. May we too be more full of joy like that underground spring springing forth for all to see. Thank you mama for showing me what that underground spring looks like!
So I will close again with the words of Buechner,"More than anything else, to be a saint is to know joy, not happiness that comes & goes, but joy always there like an underground spring."