|An All Saints Day Altar|
There is Rachel Held Evans, my favorite Christian author, a contemporary, and prolific writer and theologian who died in May. I had been praying fervently for her recovery after learning of her unexpected and terrifying illness that left her in a medically induced coma. I learned that she died the morning of Jane's first piano recital. We were in an Episcopal church and I was helping my three-year-old potty before we left. Rachel had left her evangelical church tradition for the Episcopal church, and she was a mother who left behind two small children and a beloved husband. And she left a hole in my life, even though we were strangers. (We were mutual Twitter followers, and I was on the team to read and promote her last book, Inspired.) I am a fan and a member of her online church, ministered to through social media and her blog.
I grieve for the books I'll never read and the complex thoughts she would have wrestled with and come away with clarity for herself and others. But mostly I grieve for her family, and feel that pin-prick of fear for my own. My own mortality is something I don't consider often, but it's a certainty even without knowing death's timing.
I remember you, Rachel Held Evans. And I expect that I will every year as candles are lit and bells are rung. Just as I remember my grandparents, great aunt, baby cousin and others.