We observe All Saints Day tomorrow. Who are the saints who have helped to shape and form your faith? You are invited to share their names in a comment below. Throughout the month of November, the churchwide executive board and staff will remember your loved ones and family members in prayer.
Two women named Dorothy are among the saints for me. Dot taught me how to love, respect, and care for all of God’s creation. Dot organized the early efforts in our congregation to ‘adopt a highway.’ Members would regularly gather to clean up the interchange. Dot thought it would look better with some flowers, but the highway department would not permit it. Nonetheless, the crew sometimes carried seeds in our pockets (pockets with holes, of course). So what if a few seeds fell out? With others from the congregation we created a biblical herb garden outside the church, providing a quiet place for meditation, a source of herbs for the congregation, and a beautiful garden for passersby.
Dorothy taught me of the unconditional love of God in Jesus Christ. Long before the days of WWJD, Dorothy was asking that question. Her answer, in the way she lived her life, was simple – Jesus would have us love our neighbors. Even now, many years after her death, I think of Dorothy’s persistent expression of love to all those who touched her life. Countless children in Sunday school, vacation Bible school and Girl Scouts learned of Jesus’ love at Dorothy’s knee. In our circle Dorothy taught us of the importance of love within families, sharing wisdom her father had long ago revealed to her.
Both Dorothys taught me about hospitality too. Dot always welcomed the cleanup crews to her home, serving a delicious chocolate cake. I treasure a coffee cake recipe from Dorothy (often served at our congregational unit’s breakfast potlucks), her grandmother’s recipe from the Great Depression.
I pause today to offer thanks for two saints named Dorothy.
Linda Post Bushkofsky is executive director, Women of the ELCA.