Saturday, August 30, 2014

Anonymous Saints: In the Darkest Hours, Joy

A young Tonita Helton and her mother

Here's the first in my new series on Anonymous Saints - Ordinary People of Extraordinary Virtue.

And it's a story of great suffering, and of joy found in the darkest hours.

Tonita M. Helton writes of her mother, who suffered greatly in her battle with cancer.  It is not an easy story to read, but it's beautifully written and wonderfully profound.

And then I looked into her eyes, those brown eyes rimmed with scabs and stripped even of their lashes. In their depths, I did not see pain or anger or bitterness or despair. I saw peace. And I saw joy. And I saw Christ. ... 
... To quote The Princess Bride, one of my favorite cult movies, “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” While true so far as it goes, it is incomplete. The fuller truth is reflected in the face of those who suffer as my mother did, who through the grace of God, accept even the unacceptable, and in so doing, enter into the great paradox of the Cross.

It's a story to inspire us with the awesome fact that if such tremendous suffering can be united with His cross by an Anonymous Saint - by someone's mother, by someone so ordinary and yet so holy - so too can our petty and silly inconveniences be offered up in this same way.

Read the whole thing and thank God for the goodness that is all around us.



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