Monday, March 17, 2014

What comes first?

Celebration comes second. 

And today.  Much celebrating.

The wearing o' the green.  Shamrocks and parades.
Honoring Saint Patrick.
And for a few hours everyone Irish.
Joining the festivity; worldwide.

Much like Saint Valentine.  And his day. 
The wearing of red.
All the glitz.  No pressure. 
This the wearing of green or red.

But first.

There was the suffering.

How it all started.

Saint Patrick.
Born into a wealthy Roman family.
In Britain.  Around 400 AD.

Kidnapped by a raiding party.
Taken to Ireland.
To herd sheep.
Against his will. As a slave.  

And so for many years.
Alone.  Afraid.  Frightened.  Cold.
Only a young boy.

And Ireland in this era.
The Middle Ages.
Corrupt.  Violent. 
A land of Druids and human sacrifices.

Along the way. 
While herding sheep;  a slave.
He began to pray. 
In desperation.

And God answered.
Giving comfort and meaning.

Then years later.

Engineered by God.

A walk to the coast.
A boat back to Britain. 
Back home. 

But changed by misfortune.

He decided to study.
To return to Ireland. 
His people now.
The ones who enslaved him.

As a priest.  Then a bishop.
Changing the fabric of Ireland forever.
Bringing hope to a people.

Bringing God.

And said by some.
Ushering the history of civilization
out of the Dark Ages.

The date of his death.
March 17th.
Worldwide celebration.

Known more for what he did.
And what he became.
Than who he was.

A Brit, a kidnapped teen, a person experiencing adversity.

Changing him.

Known now.
As the Patron Saint.
Of Ireland.


It had to come first.

Not something we willingly choose.
But in the broken of life
God uses for good.

In this story.

And often.

In our stories.
Turning adversity into good.

I raise my glass to St Paddy today.
And I raise my eyes to God.


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