Ordinary Saints


image by Rebekah Choat

This past weekend, just before All Saints’ Day, I attended the Ordinary Saints exhibit and retreat at Laity Lodge, a lovely, tranquil place in the Texas Hill Country where hospitality is bodied forth on every level. Ordinary Saints is an extraordinary collaborative art piece: poet priest Malcolm Guite’s insightful poems reflecting on exquisite portraits painted by Bruce Herman, set to soaring music composed by JAC Redford.


We gathered for a weekend in the hills –
in God’s own country, right at Texas’ heart –
to contemplate the space each of us fills
through painter’s, poet’s, and composer’s art:

to learn to see each other face to face,
to trust and hold each other ever near,
not just together in this hallowed place,
but when we’ve said farewell and gone from here;

to recognize the holy in the daily
and understand that no one is mere mortal,
to know that, though we walk through this life frailly,
each eye we look on could be Heaven’s portal

in flesh and blood, not just on wood in paint,
we’re all of us God’s ordinary saints.

~ Rebekah Choat