Yesterday we celebrated Martinmas. where we live we tend to cultivate a festival life that is better known in Eastern Europe. The story of Saint Martin is this; Martin was a prince. His father forced him to be a soldier despite the fact that he was a pacifist. As a pacifist he chose to be a medic. When it came time to battle and he refused to bear arms he was sent to the enemy line with nothing but his cross to defend him. That is the cross he were around his neck.
Realizing that he truly meant no harm and did not want to fight the enemy sent him back in he was dismissed from battle. When the war was over he was traveling on horseback wearing a wool red cloak. When he passed the beggar woman on the street shivering in the cold freezing. He got down from his horse helped the woman up, cut his cloak in two and wrapped it around her. He did many other good deeds after this but this is what he is best know for. It’s worth looking the dude up, the story is way more interesting than I able to tell.
And so in our community person each person makes a lantern and in the darkness we gather and sing, walking with our lanterns and singing to wear a skit is held in the night, acting out the afore mentioned story, and the beggar woman hands out cookies to the children. It is a touching remembrance of the fact that we are all humans. That each day we can seek out someone that needs our help. Because whatever we have to offer even if it is only half a cloak is better than nothing. In this time of darkness both the time of year, the political atmosphere, in our culture and our humanity be the light. Carry your lantern into the dark and see where it is that you can do good for others. It can be so simple.
If you’re going through a toll pay for the person behind you, if there’s someone sitting at a bus stop bring them a coffee, if you are passing someone on the street give them a smile, if you see a mother struggling with her bags at an airport help her. It is so simple to be the light you just have to choose it.