What Saint is That?

“Really interesting things happen at the gym.”


My workouts aside, one place I invariably go is the steam room. I’m quite good at that, and I wouldn’t miss it. I’m not sure of the benefits associated with steam baths, but they sure make me feel good. No wonder the Romans built elaborate structures to take them.

One day, I headed into the steam room after a great workout. I was wearing a pair of trunks and had a lanyard around my neck with my gym ID and locker key attached (I know, I’m a dork—so sue me). I parked myself in my usual spot at the far corner of the steam room, opposite the door.

After I had been in there a few minutes, another gentleman popped in and sat down next to the door. He was about as far away from me as one could get and still be in the same room. That was fine with me. I’m not into sharing my steam space.

“I was a bit tense.”

After several minutes, he stood up, and I assumed he was headed to the door. Out of the corner of my eye, however, I saw him walking diagonally across the steam room—in my direction. To be honest, alarm bells started going off in my head.

By the time he got to me, I was a bit tense. I wasn’t sure what was about to happen, but I was ready for anything. Defending myself was foremost in my mind.

He leaned over me, looked at my lanyard, and said, “What saint is that?” By this time, my mind was racing. Sainthood wasn’t one of the topics I was pondering. I was so distracted that I didn’t understand what he asked. I maintained my outwardly cool demeanor and said, “What?”


“The guy’s lucky I didn’t punch him in the nose.”

Then he looked more closely at my IDand key and said, “Oh. That’s not a saint.” Then he turned to walk away. As he headed out the door, he said, “YOU must be the saint.” To that, I immediately replied, “Yes. I’m the saint.”

I admit; I didn’t FEEL like much of a saint. The guy’s lucky I didn’t punch him in the nose.

Yet, I told him the truth. I am a saint. I don’t say that very often, because a lot of folks misunderstand what that means. When the Apostle Paul wrote his letters to the church, he always addressed the congregants as “saints.”

Holy and set apart…

The Biblical word translated as saint literally means “holy one.” In the context of Scripture, “holy” simply means “set apart for God’s purposes.” For example: In the Jewish Temple, there was a “holy” knife used in sacrifices. How can a knife be holy? It’s holy when it’s set apart for God’s purposes.

That’s why you and I can be called saints. We’re set apart for God’s purposes. We don’t always act like it, but we are. So don’t feel too self-conscious about calling yourself a saint. Never the less, keep your eyes peeled in the steam room.

DCF 1.0


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