Ordinary People

By: Sandra L. Churchill

At the beginning of November, Catholics celebrate All Saints Day, a holy day that honors ordinary people who did extra-ordinary things—heroes of faith. Sharing some “highlights” of some famous and some lesser-known saints with my CCD class, I was inspired by the acts of seemingly “ordinary” people. Some overcame illness and poverty to continually help others. Others faced their persecution or other insurmountable battles with incredible bravery and perseverance.

Moms, dads, teachers—any of us—can be saints when we choose love and patience over a short fuse, whether in traffic, the grocery store line, a fight for the TV remote, or in our daily priorities. Each of us has the ability to do “small things with great love,” in the style of St. Theresa, nicknamed the little flower of Jesus. One need not be Catholic to be inspired by the great saints. How amazing is it that every day we have the same 24 hours that Einstein, or Gandhi or Mother Theresa did? We need not be rich or famous or “important” in society’s eyes because simply living on the planet gives us the opportunity to be kind, be respectful, and care for people, animals, and the environment. We have a brand new day each morning, brimming with chances to teach, to learn, to love, and to inspire.

Scout's outing

Scout's outing

Our son’s scout troop recently participated in a Fall Camporee, which featured skill- and team-building activities ranging from compass reading and problem solving to first-aid and sportsmanship. One activity involved a “zombie attack” (fitting with the Halloween season, of course) where the scouts had to splint, bandage, and ultimately transport an “injured” scout on a stretcher to get him to safety. While the activity was a mock scenario and filled with laughter and fun, the compassion and caring was evident as the handy scouts sprang into action and mended their fellow troop member.

Scout's outing

Scout's outing

Scout's outing

Scout's outing
Reba McIntyre’s song “Everyday People” celebrates this concept of ordinary people doing extra-ordinary things beautifully. The song lyrics are as follows:

College kids turning twenty-one
And their senior year spring break was here
They headed south but not for sun
On their skin where the storms had been

It was hard fixing windows
And shingles and doors
And tide never felt so good before

Everyday people
Are the ones who are making miracles
And it’s beautiful

Everyday people
Lifting up the world like an answered prayer
I thank God they’re there
They’re the ones who care
Everyday people

Doctor said, “Good news, we caught it soon enough
We can clear this up”
But she’s thirty and single with two kids to raise
Times are tough these days

So her friends made some calls
And the word spread around
How her bills got paid she don’t know how

Everyday people
Are the ones who are making miracles
And it’s beautiful

Everyday people
Lifting up the world like an answered prayer
I thank God they’re there
They’re the ones who care

Everyday people
Everyday people

A little girl takes her mama’s hand
And walks inside saying, please don’t cry
As the people who built this house just for them
Laugh through the tears as a family moves in

Everyday people
Are the ones who are making miracles
And it’s beautiful.

Here’s to starting a new month—the month of gratitude and blessings—with a renewed spirit and a commitment to make a difference, big and small. Here’s to the courage, energy and reassurance that you can do “small things with great love.” You have a brand new day, each and every morning, to be an inspiration. That is the way to be a saint, to those you love, to strangers, and to those you encounter in your daily travels.


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