Yesterday’s match-up, predictably if you ask me, ended in the biggest drubbing to date. Florence Li-Oi handily took out Chad (left him hanging, get it?…). IMHO poor Chad never stood a chance. That means Hilda will have to fight extra hard to uphold the Celtic banner. If I were an odds-maker I would bet that day’s match-up will follow a similar course as yesterday’s: in the Ferrar vs Tubman bracket I predict Tubman will hand old Nicky his lunch.
Nicholas Ferrar was born in the late 16th century to a wealthy family. They were chief investors in the Virginia Company and when it went bust Nicholas and his family moved to a small town in Huntingtonshire named “Little Gidding.” They embraced the vows of poverty (when life hands you lemons…), ceaseless prayer, good works, and following the offices of the Book of Common Prayer. They actually went through the entire Psalter (that’s all 150, count ’em! 150 psalms!) each day. Yowser! Nicholas was ordained deacon by Bishop Laud. He understood his calling to be that of service, not of administering the sacraments.
T.S. Eliot’s poem “Little Gidding,” from his Four Quarters, takes its name from the community established by Ferrar.
Harriet Tubman was born into slavery on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in the 1820’s. She worked as a field hand but managed to esc then turning around to help members of her family escape as well. She went on to lead any others on to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Not letting the passage of he Fugitive Slave Act deter her she continued to lead people on to slavery, pushing on into Canada. She earned the nickname “Moses” and the signal for her arrival on the Railway was the singing of “Go Down Moses.
During the Civil War she volunteered to help the Union forces, first as a cook and nurse, then later as a spy and armed scout. She was the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, guiding the Combahee River Raid in South Carolina, liberating over 700 slaves. After the war she retired to her family home in Auburn, New York where she also worked for women’s suffrage.
Musings: are you kidding me? I thought yesterday’s match-up was a no-brainer, but a 17th century deacon who led a quiet, contemplative life vs one of the giants of American history who put her life on the line on a frequent basis? I’m pretty clear about who I’m voting for (in fact already cast my vote for Moses). This rather (IMHO) skewed match-up does beg the question, though, “what is a saint?” and the answer very clearly is they come in wide assortment and variety — from those who lay down their lives to those who try to live a simple, good life, serving Jesus Christ in the best way they can in the circumstances in which they find themselves. That really is the key: we are all of us called to be saints; to do so means to use what is available to us in the best way we can to serve Jesus in the world today. “They are all of them saints of God and I mean, God helping, to be one too” (Hymn 293).
To vote, go here.