Our church, the Body of Christ, is certainly full of life. Even when we grieve the passing of our sister in Christ, Barbara McCausland, we are also able to give thanks to God for her life.
A few days ago, some of the ladies were sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee and talking about the meaning of sainthood. Someone said, "How do you get to be a saint anyways?" looking at me.
She knew the answer, for she is a good Presbyterian, well-schooled in Scripture and Reformed theology. But before I could answer, someone chimed in and said, "We're all saints! We're called to be saints!"
I couldn't say it any better. Each of us gets to be a part of the whole body of Christ, Jesus as our head - that is our mind. None of us can do it all, but each of us has a gift and therefore a chance to participate in the life of the church. Paul says it in 1 Corinthians 12, "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work..." (full text: 1 Corinthians 12:1-31)
Barbara was a part of the big picture that God has for us all. She did her part. She worked hard at our Rummage Sales, baked for our meals, even as getting around the kitchen proved to be increasingly difficult for her, and she provided her thoughts, opinions and feelings on subjects when called upon.
I have some of the furniture from Dr. Ray McCausland's office, when they sold the property and needed to get rid of the furniture. I have a neat brown metal lamp that clamps onto a desk which can adjust its height and direction. A few chairs give our bodies cushioned rest in the church office now, as we visit, laugh and do the business of God there. And the desk where I sit is the same one that Barbara used when she worked in Dr. McCausland's office.
When I first arrived in Tucumcari, we were given this furniture to help me out until the PW (Presbyterian Women) purchased me more stately, pastoral-looking ("professional?") furniture for the office. But I never got around to choosing anything, and it all looked very expensive and unnecessarily fancy to me. Now, I'm not sure I want to part with that old stuff from the eye doctor's office. It's special to me now, more than ever. It reminds me of Barbara and her ways, for she didn't like things too expensive or unnecessarily fancy. There are many many stories we can - and will - tell about her in the coming days, weeks and years. But I grew to appreciate her most as someone who preferred to "be real" with people, and didn't believe in going overboard with anything. Sounds like a good Scottish Presbyterian to me me. My kind of saint. Don't you think?
Hope you can come on Monday as we give thanks for her life. The service starts at 10:30AM.