This past Sunday I gave everyone who was present in our worship service a 5×8 card and these instructions.
Write down the name of someone who has been a saint in your life.
A family member.
Someone whose presence helped to shape who you are today.
Then after writing down their name, write down three words to describe them or a short sentence about who they were and what they meant or mean to you. Then we are going to tape our cards to the wall so we are literally surrounded by their names and presence.
And then I held my breath.
What happened next was wonderful.
It seemed like the moment I finished speaking people were up out of their seats and taping their card to the wall with a number of people going back to ask for an additional card. Then, for about 10 minutes, we all walked around the sanctuary reading the names and the notes about people who, without whose presence, many of us would not have been there in that moment.
Today, I walked through the sanctuary and removed the cards from the wall.
As I did so I reread the names which others wrote.
And, also the notes.
She taught me…
He showed me the way…
She helped me to see…
He saw something in me…
You get the idea.
The cards now sit on my desk.
I am grateful for all the men and women whose names are on those cards most of whom I do not know and have never met.
Here they are.
A cloud of witness surrounding my life.