Great Cloud of Witnesses

The first time I visited a monastery I was terrified! I couldn’t get myself out of the door to drive to St. Meinrad Archabbey in southern Indiana where I had planned to stay for a week the summer of 2015. Finally, my daughter nudged me and said, “Mom, aren’t you supposed to be going somewhere?”

Along the way, I thought how much easier it would have been to take the week off as a personal retreat in the comfort of my home, as it’s so much easier to stay put than go out into the unknown, isn’t it? Why was I setting out on this journey? While driving, I briefly glanced at the sky and noticed small puffy clouds; a rarity in St. Louis summers. My anxious mind calmed as I thought of being surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. You.  We need each other! That thought remained with me throughout the week as I remembered those who have encouraged me along the way.

Today is All Saints’ Sunday. During worship today, the list was read of those saints who died this past year and a bell was rung for each. The bell I rang was for a member who had been my covenant partner when I was in 8th grade. I remembered him because he nurtured and supported me. We had a relationship and I felt known by him. When we share pieces of ourselves with each other, we form connections that last throughout our lives. What a gift!

I am grateful for every person who has touched my life, including you. By reading this and participating in my journey, you are walking with me as I seek a deeper relationship with God. You are part of my great cloud of witnesses; strengthening me on my path and helping me to keep going whether I want to or not.

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