November 2, 2021
This past Sunday we remembered our Saints. We remembered those we have lost recently from our community of faith, but I, personally, also remember the saints in my life. I’ve lost touch with many of them because they were school teachers, Sunday school teachers, friends in other places. I remember those Saints who may not be a part of my life, but I remember them as saints for who they were and how they lived.
During COVID, we lost one of those saints. His name was Kent Lawrence, and sadly I was not able to go to his funeral as it was closed to many on the outside. Kent is a legendary man. He still holds records for UGA football. He played high school basketball with “Pistol” Pete Maravich. He played in the NFL when no one was watching. Put himself through law school by working as a jailer at night. Eventually became a state court judge. But all of that, while it was probably written in his obituary, did not make him a saint, to me. What made him a saint was that he looked out for me. I was in high school when I met him, and a state court judge took me in. He gave me a job working for him and took me into all kinds of places to learn about the world, and to meet interesting people. He told me stories about people we met and the city in which we lived. Most importantly, he loved me, and I loved him.
While we tend to think of those with the title of “saint” as someone who has worked miracles. Someone who has made ultimate sacrifices or lives a morally pristine life, I think there are saints who are among us. They are those who love us. Who ask us how we are doing because they really want to know, and who show up without us asking. I do not think we should strive to be a saint for the world. However, I do think that if we can be a saint to someone, then we will have lived into our call. “Thank you” to all the saints in our church, and in our lives.