cloud of witnesses

My eyes drifted east to the clouds piled in a heap on top of the mountains. Giant tentacles stretched out of it, thick offshoots snaking westward across the sky.

Directly beneath it the sun began to rise. A fiery flush of coral washed over the gray. Second by second the warm blush swept down the cloudy arms. The morning sky came alive.

Its brilliance infiltrated my prayer for our church, “Would You make us like that cloud—reflecting the Son’s glory—taking people’s breath away and drawing them to You? . . . Could we be like that? Could we be a cloud of witnesses?”

Oh! Is that what a cloud of witnesses looks like? I’d always pictured a solitary, massive column, an overwhelming thunderhead. I’d projected an ominous edge to the cloud—I don’t know why—but this . . . this was glorious. The incomparably richer reality before me reshaped the image in my mind.

By the time I pulled into my parking spot at work the cloud had faded to standard gray against an average morning sky. The radiance was gone, but the impression—the vision—remained.

The cloud is just a cloud, but the cloud in communion with the sun is breathtaking.

The church is just a bunch of people, but the church in communion with the Son is altogether holy. Lit by His magnificence, reflecting it outward, we become a living mystery—His constant canvas, His cloud of witnesses—drawing the eyes of others beyond ourselves to Him.

We do it imperfectly. Our glow fades, our unity wavers, our focus falters, our cloud drifts, and yet His mercies are new every morning.

Our mission is clear. Our Hope is here. Our Son is risen.


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