As the mind’s eye perceives, I suddenly “saw” myself in the same chair but now in an open, airy space where a vast circle of people surrounded me—in a cloud, as it were. I sensed their love. In the way of imagination I also sensed they were cheering me on and that they were saints who were now with the Lord.
A Scripture came to mind: “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud (nephos: multitude) of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1, NASB).
I pondered this.
“Thank you,” I whispered…
Years before during a worship service I had imagined a similar “cloud of witnesses.” This time they—we—surrounded Jesus as He stood before His accusers that Friday morning, His blood already etching the first words of our redemption on sacred ground.
I imagined, no, hoped, that somehow He sensed the love that each from his/her era extended to Him for comfort in His solitary travail, suffering from which Perfect Justice had to turn aside so that Perfect Love, in an extraordinary act of Perfect Propitiation for our sins, could be accomplished.
A sacrifice about which Jesus, understanding the horror ahead, the utter and necessary abandonment, had said, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done”, a sacrifice made for you and for me—and all the others “in the cloud” and on the ground.
I pondered this.
“Thank You,” I whispered…
I hope today that whatever corner of dilemma you may be in, you will sense me, here, cheering you on and extending my love.
But more importantly, I pray you will sense the greatest love of all. Put another way: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13, NIV).
I hope today you will ponder the love of the Friend Made Flesh, Jesus, and that you will let Him restore you.
 Luke 22:42, NIV
Picture from the public domain