The world is wrong about “saints”.
It always so happens that when one important individual dies, the world turn them into saints. We make statues for them; put them on our money; honor their birthdays with holidays and big events and moments of silence.
But we do not dare follow their footsteps or pursue the kind of bravery they had. That’s why it’s easier to put them on a coin and idolize them, almost as a way of saying “we can never do what they did”.
I remember how the entire world turned silent and depressed almost, at Nelson Mandela’s death. People spoke about him with a sadness of a close loved one. It was powerful to see how people drew so much from his wisdom, his experience, his story.
But I felt like I could scream, Hey, he was just a freakin human being”. It frustrates me how the world choose who to make something of; who to baptize saint, while thousands of people, whose stories will never make any newspaper, give their lives to make the world a better place.
Don’t get me wrong, Mandela did the world good; Martin Luther King stories still gives me goosebumps, but we are too quick to make saints out of them and we forget about those who are also tirelessly fighting whatever evils, but will never be “famous” for it.
Shane Claiborne said this: It’s what always happens to the saints and prophets who are dangerous: we bronze them, we drain them of their passion and life and trap them in stained-glass windows and icons, confining them safely in memories of the past. St. Francis becomes a birdbath, Malcolm X is put on a stamp, and Martin Luther King gets a holiday. And Jesus gets commercialized.