Today is Election Day, and many are anxious. I am. Maybe you are, too.
I find it provocative that this year, Election Day follows right on the heels of All Souls Day and All Saints Day. On those days, we commemorate the saints and hold close the memory of the departed. We are reminded that we’re part of a big and beloved community.
Today, as we steer our country and watch with baited breath, we need more than ever to have that community with us. To know, as we wait in our isolated pandemic pods, that we’re not alone. That is why I relentlessly study the Christian mystics, saints, artists, and pilgrims of old. For me, history is spiritual formation because it grounds me in something bigger than I am. I am part of a great cloud of witnesses with whom I am scudding across the sky toward home.
So, although All Saints Day may be over, I declare this to be All Saints WEEK. And on this Election Day, I urge you: remember the saints. The ones you read about in Scripture and spiritual texts from the past and present. They will guide and ground you.
Remember the saints. The ones who paved the way for the church and our country. The ones you love who have already gone home, perhaps far too soon. Their work and their memory is with you.
Remember the saints. The ones in your home. The ones you encounter on the street or on your Twitter and Facebook timelines. The ones who feel alone and anxious and vulnerable this week. They need you.
Remember the saints. Check in on them. Love them. Feel them near you. We are all—past and present, dead and living—in the same boat sailing toward a distant horizon. Or, to use a different image, “we’re all just walking each other home (Ram Dass).”