Magazine article The Christian Century

Lofty People: A Crowded Balcony of Saints Looks Down on Me

Magazine article The Christian Century

Lofty People: A Crowded Balcony of Saints Looks Down on Me

Article excerpt

THE ARTICLES in this issue set me pondering the great and significant people in my life. And I recalled a remarkable lecture I heard years ago by the late Carlyle Marney. Marney was a Southern Baptist preacher from Charlotte who finished his career by directing a retreat center for broken and hurting preachers. He was a big, robust man with a great sense of humor and a contagious laugh.

In his lecture Marney used a house as a metaphor for a person. There are different rooms in the house that is you, he said. There is a parlor where you welcome guests, a kitchen and dining room for eating, a bedroom where you sleep, a basement where you store your trash. The house also has a balcony, he said, and on that balcony are the people who have exerted good and positive and gracious influences in your life. They are your balcony people. "Walk outside and look up and see who's lip there on your balcony looking down at you," he suggested. "Wave to them. They are your saints."

On All Saints Day I try to remember to do that--to wave to the saints on my balcony. Some of them are the great people who are on a lot of balconies. …

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