Yesterday, lectio divina drew me to an unexpected verse. It came from my John Baillie book of prayers; a daily book that has been in my a.m. worship since late 2007. This was the phrase (not new but unexpectedly fresh) from Baillie's prayer -
".....an ever-present remembrance of the great traditions wherein I stand and the great cloud of witnesses which at all times surround me."
It was the last full day of our rest and restoration in Maui and as I felt the fresh ocean breeze through our open lanai doors, heard the surf and the birds greeting the sun of the day, my thoughts flew to the rich culture and native ancestry of the Hawaiian Islands. Surely the DNA of Maui's ancestors is still present from the times they sat on this mountain side - then a deserted place of beauty with worshipers akin to me savoring their gods' creation.
The landscape, of course, has changed. The hilltop is no longer forested with solely indigenous plants, nor visited by tiny red and yellow birds - the birds of color almost extinct now, the hilltop dotted with a multitude of condos inhabited by modern "worshipers" perhaps involved more in idol-like worship than in praise and thanksgiving for this beautiful island. I honored the ancient spirits in prayer for their courage and perseverance in finding and settling this place, and for both theirs and my worship of the awesomely beautiful creation washing over our souls; I also gave thanks for their presence in my personal prayer time.
Do you have physical sites in your life that bring awareness of the great cloud of witnesses to the forefront of your heart and mind? Maybe even as you close your eyes and pray for their support you feel them now? I'd love to hear about your special places..........
Photos Sunrise Sister - #1. Overlook at Honolua Bay #2. Maui Blue Sky:)