For All the Saints

I took the plumber to the basement. He inspected the tangle of pipes. Then, he began to painstakingly trace the line from the supply to an oil heater boiler over to an electric water heater on to the master bathroom, and finally to a half bathroom.

He scratched his head. He made a few notes.

“Am I seeing this right?” he asked.

“Are the hot water and cold water lines reversed in that half bath?”

I told him they were.

“I have to see this,” he said.

We walked upstairs to the half bath. He turned on the cold water faucet, and hot water began to flow.

“Who in the world did this?” he asked.

Then he said, “Don’t bother telling me, I already know.”

We all did.

The designer of our convoluted plumbing was the same genius who decided his camper needed a skylight, cut a hole in the roof with his rotary saw, went out to buy a skylight big enough to fit the hole, went to down to Texas Hot Dog Palace, rounded up a few of his buddies to help him figure out how to install it, and eventually talked them into church.  Some saints work that way. 

Other saints, not so much.

The carpenter who always said “Measure twice, cut once,” before measuring a third time was the same patient craftsman who sat by a door patiently listening to a church breakfast diner complain about the food we had served her, the people at her table, the bus schedule, and anything else that came to mind, including how much trouble she’d have getting back to next month’s breakfast. Month after month, she took that trouble. Month after month, he patiently listened her into church.

Saints work that way.

The Bible says: Each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift… The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, (Ephesians 4:7, 11-12)

Each of us was blessed by a saint like that.

Maybe it was Sunday morning teacher, or a Sunday evening youth leader. Maybe it was a school teacher, or a colleague at work. Maybe it was the neighbor who prayed with you, or maybe it was the author a spiritual book you still read. Christ builds his church through saints like that, through saints like you and me.