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You're In Someone Else's Crowd
The mission of The Sage Forum is to encourage, equip, and empower women over 40 to mature in faith and grow in wisdom. We send out a newsletter at the beginning of each month focusing on a different theme relevant to women in the second half of life. Our July theme will be travel as older adults.
The Sage Forum Extra! is a short mid-month reflection meant to offer you a word of encouragement. Today’s Extra! is penned by Sage Forum contributor Afton Rorvik.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. (Hebrews 12:1, NLT)
We recently moved back to my home state of Colorado. In fact, we now live thirty minutes from the town where I spent my first eighteen years, the town I couldn’t wait to leave.
When my husband and I started thinking about moving after he retired, I told him, “I can’t (won’t) go back to anywhere near where I grew up. Too many hard memories.”
Obviously, something happened. It happened in my soul.
On one of our visits to Colorado to look at housing options, we ended up with a few days in my hometown. And I began to remember. But much to my surprise, I began to remember not the difficult situations but instead the kind people. I remembered my clarinet teacher, who often came into my lesson quoting the Bible verse he was memorizing that day. I remembered my Jesus-loving piano teacher whose gentle, encouraging voice felt like an oasis. I remembered the wise, kind people in a small body of Christ who intervened on more than one occasion to help our struggling family.
I began to realize that I have a Colorado cloud of witnesses. My preoccupied, self-absorbed teenaged self couldn’t see it then, but I can see it now. These people cheered me on in life and in faith. They believed in me and helped me believe in God.
God gave us a host of witnesses to his ways in the pages of the Bible—Noah, Abraham, David, Ruth . . . But I know now that he also gives us modern-day witnesses, people who see us and know us and point us to Jesus in this world.
During my first months in our new location, I contacted my Colorado witnesses (now in their eighties) and sat across from them to thank them aloud for their role in my life.
All of this remembering has made me think.
For whom can I function as part of a cloud of witnesses here on this earth?
This life of living for Jesus often feels like a really long, uphill marathon. How we all need a collection of people clapping and shouting, “You can do this! You can!”
Dear Jesus, thank you for gifting your people with the ability to function as your hands and feet. Thank you for the specific people you put in my life who helped me know and follow you. Show me how to do the same for others. Amen.
For further reflection, consider spending some time with Afton’s question: For whom can you function as part of a cloud of witnesses here on this earth?
Watch your mailbox for next month’s newsletter. And don’t forget to visit our YouTube channel for extended conversation on some topics of interest to Sage women.