She was a saint who lived among us, you know. Yes, Helen was. I cannot think of one Bible verse she quoted, although she knew His word well. She did more than merely quote scripture; she lived it, and into each one who crossed her path it did go.
In Galatians it says you will know them by their fruit. It says the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
Helen had all of these gifts fully present…all at the same time. It was as if they were easy to come by. From what I know, they are not. The opposite erupts from time to time in most, but not Helen. And to help her practice these, God gifted her a husband in life who protected her so she might live them out.
Oswald Chambers says, “A river touches much of which its source knows nothing.” Helen did not know how many lives she touched by being among us. As well, she never would have been aware just how much her sweet countenance added to those present in her midst.
Mom, grandma, friend, neighbor, parishioner, believer, Bible study attendee, lover of her extended family, lover of the stranger, kind, humble soul she was. I marveled at her gifts each time she was near. I marveled at her gifts when she was nowhere near.
She attended to the needs within the community. I know this because she did it for me; many could attest to the same. Her gentle Spirit never admonished another but in tender voice she’d find some way to uplift with compassion any who stood before her.
St. Helen was perhaps the safest person in the world to be around. She listened well. She never boasted. She was consistent and offered stability to all who entered under her roof. All who knew her felt as though they were her best friend. She treated them with awestruck wonder that they would be so kind as to grace her with their presence. Yet, the reality was, they were the lucky ones.
Gentleness poured out of her like living water upon all who drew nigh. If she were to read this, she’d no doubt smile while releasing soft laughter saying, “Oh my, do you really think so?” And soon she’d turn your way letting you know just how highly she had always regarded you.
A soft touch upon your arm and sure enough, it would be Helen. Her smile brought out her inner beauty and you just flat out felt better when you were around her.
Now, may we, like Helen, continue on in the communion of saints bringing comfort to all in our paths. And, may we, like Helen, bring to that communion the mind of Christ.
Hebrews 12:1. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
I am so very thankful for the saints who have gone before us and the ones coming after. Amen.
Kathleen Kjolhaug lives on the family homestead outside of Clearbrook with her husband Pete. She enjoys writing about family life and brings humor into the sacred moments of everyday living.
Theology in the Trenches appears in several local newspapers throughout Minnesota. Kathleen can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org