He leaned over me for the um-teenth day in a row, needle in hand. He was poking my sore, sick body with one more injection of what was then an adult dosage of penicillin. As was my habit, I wailed loudly and then lay there listless and restless. My body of less than two years was filled with disease, weighing only a couple pounds more than when I was born. I didn’t know it then, but the doctor was going beyond what medicine said was appropriate. He made a daily trip to my parents’ home to give me that life-saving shot. My parents couldn’t afford it, but he came anyway. “Pay when you can,” this kind saint reassured them.
Others had given up hope that this pale little child would survive. But not Dr. Blank or my parents. Together with some aunts, I was given twenty-four-hour care for months. Prayer after prayer was lifted up on my behalf. Dr. Blank, my mother, and some of my relatives stated and believed that God had a plan for my life. What a blessing these saints were to me before I even comprehended what they had done for me.
When I reflect upon the sacrifices of saints such as Dr. Blank and my parents, and all the sacrifices they made for one little child, I cringe at the many ways I have wasted or abused this precious and holy gift of life. But, praise the Lord, that cringing lasts but a little while though it still rears its ugly head from time to time as does that nasty, sinful side of my life that I sometimes give in to.
But, praise God again, instead of being held hostage to my mistakes and sin, I realize that I have been freed in Christ to strive to live following in the ways of those saints who have blessed my life and inspired me to set my eyes and my path towards the Light of the world!
November 1 was All Saints Day. This is a day set aside in the Church calendar to help us reflect upon and give thanks to God for the many saints who have helped us on our journey of life to see and walk closer with Christ. I am so thankful for the many saints who have helped me look to and experience being filled with the light and love of Jesus Christ.
You and I, all the Church, and the entire world need saints. We need saints more than we need glitzy stars, self-centered sports figures, and “promise-us-anything” politicians. We need saints more than another truckload of stuff. God knows that our insatiable greed has not taken us, our nation, or our world where we need to go. We need saints more than the cynical philosophy that says “this is a dog-eat-dog world; get all you can, whenever you can, wherever you can.”
May we take time to thank God for all the saints who have helped us see and know Christ. May we ask God to help us live as those who desire to reflect the love, sacrifice, and acceptance that is Jesus Christ to others.
Hebrews 12:1-2a (GNT) states, “As for us, we have this large cloud of witnesses around us. So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from the beginning to end.”
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