Saying Goodbye to a Saint

I said goodbye to a Saint today. I held his hand, and his smile – unhindered by the oxygen line – made me want to sing and cry at the same time. He knew his time was short. I only was with him for a minute or so because of family and doctors, but when I heard this was probably his last day I wanted to say goodbye.
In all honestly, I didn’t know him very well. I worshipped with him a couple dozen times; and in so doing I sang with him, shared God’s peace with him, offered him the “Bread of Heaven” and the “Cup of Salvation,” and shared in some coffee and snacks after services sometimes. I watched him smile at Ceara and Caleb and laugh as he tried to make them laugh.
I wish I knew him better personally. I have heard stories of this saint, though, – stories that won’t make it on “Dateline”, in an issue of “Time”, and they probably won’t even make the local paper. Yet there are stories of selfless giving of himself to care for others, stories of patient love, and stories of generosity for the sake of the Church (not as the institution, yet as the Body of Christ in this world). These stories reinforce the belief of Church historian, Justo Gonzales, that Christianity continues today not because of the famous few throughout the ages, rather Christianity continues today because God works through the countless, nameless, faceless, faithful followers of Jesus throughout history to transform the world. The amazing thing is that God knows each and every one of their faces, names, and lives. I am thankful to have known the name and face of this man.
May His family know God’s presence and comfort in the days ahead, and may God continue to use the life of this saint to work transformation and healing in this world. Amen.

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