February 8: Cuthman, the Saint who “Just Did It”!

Living in the late 600s and early 700s, Cuthman is one of those rare saints who were not connected to any religious order, suffered no persecutions, did not live as a hermit-by-design, nor instructed others with supernal wisdom. Rather, Cuthman was a shepherd for a while, a begger for a while, and eventually a builder of a church–all in a very small area located in what is now southeastern England.

What Cuthman did, in whatever his activity, was to commune with his God. He did not care about the nature of the work he was doing, the regard it was held in by others, or the profit that it made (it didn’t, in fact). He simply found in each day an opportunity to extend his own spiritual life. So it seemed to him a natural next step one day to step outside his hut, walk a few yards, and begin using his hands to dig into the earth–all because he felt that that was the day to build a church. He didn’t ask permission of anyone, he didn’t have a funding drive, he didn’t secure equipment or contractors–he just began removing dirt with his hands!

This soon brought out other people from the surrounding area (those of us who grew up in small towns understand how neighbors investigate anything out of the ordinary). When they encountered Cuthman, they just decided to help! It seemed like the right idea at the right time to them, and soon people with actual tools and additional resources came together to complete the building of this church and then used it for worship.

That’s it. That’s all we know about this Saint Cuthman–he used his time talking with and listening to God, and “just did it”–whatever seemed the next right thing to do. Cool.

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