A cloud of witnesses. That describes that picture above perfectly.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,Hebrews 12: 1 New International Version
This picture of my grandma and both of Chris’s grandmas takes me to that verse in Hebrews immediately. They are now a part of that cloud of witnesses who have gone before us. I was reminded this past week of how many people I know are in that cloud of witnesses when I attended the Celebration of Life of another dear friend from my work church Epworth United Methodist Church in Concord.
I didn’t really intend to write about the service of Dianne Shepherd or share on It’s Just Life how another death in that congregation has rocked me but I was thinking later about the service, about the totally packed church and about her family. Her husband of 53 years, John, her children and grandchildren and her beloved toy poodle Lizzie were all at the service and shared the time with friends and family who will miss the woman that Dianne was.
It got me to thinking about my family and the cloud of witnesses that have gone before and I remembered seeing this picture in one of those blue Rubbermaid totes I was sorting through. This picture is a powerhouse of women — our own personal cloud of witnesses. Women of faith and substance. Women who provided strong homes and support for those we love. Women who loved more than can be imagined.
This picture was taken at our home in Greenville, Ohio in 1988 after Aaron’s baptism. This triumvirate of women live on in the generations that came after them. This picture captured my Grandma Bonnie’s smile, Grandma Kate’s love of chattering and Grandma Betty’s respectful and kind way of listening.
It warms my heart. It is part of who I am. Those three women who had a huge impact upon my life.
Where would we be without those that went before? Our own cloud of witnesses? Life is so short. Enjoy those people while you can. Tell them how important they are to you. Spend time with them. Love them.