I know the reason my thoughts keep drifting to heaven and that amazing cloud of witnesses there is because my Dad joined that faithful throng one year ago today.
My Dad. Charles Davidson. The Psalmist's son, making me a daughter of the Psalmist's son! No wonder Psalm 23, "The Lord is my Shepherd ...," resonates continually in my life, and never more than today.
I also have a cloud of godly witnesses on Earth, and they bring meaning, focus and joy to this journey. Many are known to me, including my family and dear friends. But others I only know through those connections -- and nowadays even sometimes the earthly witness comes through the unlikely channel of Facebook.
These are a couple of the ties that bind that have lifted me in unexpected ways in the past year. (I hope I get the details right; feel free to correct me if I don't, so I can set the record straight.)
-- Jesus Calling daily devotional by Sarah Young.
I was introduced to this by my Mom, right after Daddy's Oct. 30 passing. She said she was uplifted by the words for Oct. 30, including:
I am with you. I am with you. I am with you. Heaven’s bells continually peal with that promise of My Presence. Some people never hear those bells because their minds are earthbound and their hearts are closed to Me. Others hear the bells only once or twice in their lifetimes, in rare moments of seeking Me above all else. My desire is that My “sheep” hear My voice continually, for I am the ever-present Shepherd. ...
Rather than Psalm 23, the Scripture was John 10:14, 27-28: "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me… My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”
As for the cloud of witnesses, Mom had told me she was sent the Jesus Calling book by the godly, recently widowed grandmother of one of her grandsons. I think I saw Mom reading from the devotional or heard her comment on it a few other times before Christmas, so I ended up buying myself a copy to start the year. I now have it as a phone app, too, and read the Scriptures and meditations daily -- often more than once. They focus me on seeking and staying in and being grateful for God's presence, and to trust Him and thank Him in all things. It continues to be transformative for me. And my sharing of how it has helped me has also connected with at least a few other people seeking the same kind of renewed focus on and trust in God. Does that mean I'm also part of the earthly cloud of witnesses? I am humbled and blessed.
-- The plant I brought home after Daddy's celebration of life. But alas, I am out of time, so I will have to write about this later. Stayed tuned.
For now, in closing, I'll just again express my love and thanks to God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, my own Mom and Dad and the great spiritual witnesses in heaven and on earth.