From time to time I read a story of incredible violence and torture inflicted on one group of people by another. Sometimes it occurs in full-scale war, other times just in a tribal dispute. Regardless of the source, the harm one person can inflict on another exceeds even the imagination of Stephen King. Passages from the Old Testament and some from the New Testament give us cringe-worthymoments better than any horror film and illustrate just what challenges the faithful have withstood to continue the story to present times.
In the final verses of Hebrews 11, we get a listing of named and unnamed Biblical figures to consider in comparison to our present circumstances. The various heroes and martyrs overcame great odds and suffered unthinkable torture for the sake of their faith. Despite the incredible abuse heaped upon the Old Testament Jews for their adherence to God's law, the young Christian church faced similar persecution from the Jews and other powers in the world.
Instead of being stuck in the daily challenge to do right, we have the chance today to reflect on those who did do right and consider our challenges in perspective to theirs. All Saints Day prompts time for reflection of what is and is not a challenge for us. Taking the time to reflect on saints of the past and those within my own life experience humbles me. Yes, everyone has their own thorn. Everyone has their own tribulation. But I do not know anyone who has been sawn in half.
Let us take this day to reflect and consider what we are called to do in light of the obstacles in our way. Nothing I find in my life comes close to those things the saints before me faced.