I grew up in a Haitian Baptist church where, even though I loved it, the spiritual activity in the youth group department was pretty low. When I moved away to start a new life at my new school, I thought I had everything planned out. I was going to get a job, get good grades, and fall asleep in church like I do at home or not go at all, because i believed that if I was not going to be an active participant, why bother right? The thing is: I couldn't find a Baptist church close to me where I felt 'at home' so I ended up going to a Lutheran church because a girl in my Turbo Kick Class invited me. It's been 4 weeks since I've joined and I still find myself eager to go back. I have never heard of All Saints' Day until 2 days ago.
The way he introduced it was quite clever to be honest. He first asked the congregation what were the strangest things people have seen kids dressed up as. The answers were: A shark with shoes coming out of the stomach (I loved this one), a Siamese twin cat, a mime, a pastor, and a nun. The last two took the wind out of the Pastor's sails because he was about to ask if anyone has seen a child dress up as a nun, a pastor, or anything biblical for that matter. He then proceeded to ask: What does a Saint look like? While I pondered this, I naturally thought of Moses and Peter...You know the biblical heroes
He gave us a few descriptions of the people he considered saints
A black man, with low cut hair, a low voice that beckons the crowd to follow him in the quest to pursue civil equality
- Martin Luther King Jr. -
A frail old woman who dedicated her life to help the poorest of the poor population in India gain back their dignity as human beings
- Mother Theresa-
The first two I caught on to immediately. The last one..not so much.
A woman with heavy bags under her eyes from the lack of sleep. Why? Because she's holding down two jobs as a waitress and a motel housekeeper to make sure that her children is provided for and that they will never have to experience the life she is having..
- The Single Mother - (Of course there are single fathers as well, but you guys catch his drift)
In the end he described saints as everyday people who actively pursue what is right and just. And despite having obstacles and hardships being thrown at them, at the end of the day their passion overrules the regrets and guides them back to their destination.
Later that night, the youth came together for a communion dinner (Crazy Pasta Night~) and the youth pastor asked us to write down as much characteristics of a person who we may or may not know who passed away in the recent years. For many people it was an emotional task, myself included.
I had a baby brother who was only 5 years younger than me when he lost his battle to cancer at the age of six. I tried many techniques to block the sadness but every time I thought of him, all I saw was him lying there in the casket.
With that being said, it was a new, sort of healing experience to be asked what it was that I remembered the most about him that shined out and touched people.
As I wrote them down, I begin to remember the small annoying pranks he pulled on me and my family, the weird laugh he always had when he laughed at his spongebob jokes or any terrible jokes he made up, and the way he shared just about everything (with the exception of the Green Power Ranger) with anyone.
After we were down, Marissa, our youth pastor told us to flip the piece of paper where it had the verse that we were learning about this morning written, 1 John Chapter 3 verses 1-3, on it. She told us to right down the things that we want people to remember about us when we depart from the world.
I wrote -
Energetic, Funny, Helpful, Happy, Ambitious
After I was done, we discussed the verse among ourselves and told us that we all forgot to write down one more crucial thing that people need to remember.. That we were the children of God.
I have heard this phrase so many times before, but I've been listening to it with a nonchalant acceptance until now. This time I truly want to live the life that my Heavenly Father would be proud of, and that I would be proud of.
So if you have read through all of my blabbering, would you mind telling me what are the top 5 things that you would like to people to remember about you? I would truly like to know
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