Archive for January 19th, 2007

Cloud of Witnesses

Friday, January 19th, 2007

Today’s scripture: Hebrews 11:32-40; 12:1-2 (NRSV)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (David Squire):

Savannah RouxOn Monday, my parent’s dog died.

Savannah was a Rottweiler who was the gentlest, sweetest dog you’ve ever seen. Mom has a picture of my 4-year-old niece asleep with her head resting on Savannah’s side. Savannah just kept watch, and didn’t move, as Mary slept.

This gentle dog had been sick with lymphoma for two and a half years, and it was her time. Mom said that in the last week, Savannah just hadn’t been herself. Though she didn’t seem to be in pain, she was tired, and her eyes were different, like the spirit had begun to dim. On Monday morning she ate a little breakfast, went outside for a few minutes, came back into the house, and died.

Mom said that when Savannah came in the house that morning, she bounced up the steps like her old self, and Mom just happened to be in the right place to see her as she scampered in.

Savannah’s death has hit my parents pretty hard — if you have a pet you love, you understand. As I talked to Mom about this on Tuesday, she told me how good it was to see that bit of life, that reminder of her “old self,” in Savannah at the very end. She called it a gift from God, and I don’t doubt that it was. Mom was also grateful that they didn’t have to make the awful decision to have Savannah put down.

Mom was crying as we talked about this (I was, too) but even in her pain her faith was clear — and I’m grateful I got to see that.

Mom’s faith has always been an example to me. We’ve had our disagreements — boy, we’ve had our disagreements — but I’m blessed beyond measure that I’ve been nurtured and inspired by such a person of faith. She’s part of the “cloud of witnesses” that surrounds me and nourishes my own faith.

Thought for the day: Who’s part of your cloud of witnesses? Who inspires your faith? It might be parents, a teacher or pastor, a spouse or a friend. How can you honor their example today?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need some help to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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