I desperately want to be a person that makes a real difference in other people’s lives – on purpose and everyday. Initially, I was struggling to understand how this would work or what it should look like. I believe Jesus provided some pretty good instructions when he said I should “love the Lord God with all my heart, all my soul and with all my mind…..and love my neighbor as I love myself.” (Matthew 22:37–38). But who do I really consider my neighbors and what does real love look like in action?
The idea of this blog was somehow all mixed up with my need to love others and make a difference. I was sure that I was supposed to start a blog, but I was extremely hesitant to actually do it. I was sure I was (and am) supposed to be loving others more, but no idea where to even start. I was praying about it – praying a lot! It seemed like God kept bringing me to the clouds. I would find myself searching for the clouds and staring at them anytime I could see the sky. I’d never really noticed the clouds before, even though they are always there. Always beautiful, always different, and always meeting some purpose; although, at the time, I really didn’t know for sure what the purpose of a cloud was.
It felt like God was trying to make some kind of point in bringing my attention to the clouds daily. So, I thought I should at least understand why he made clouds, what is their purpose? Clearly, I could have paid more attention in school. But, thankfully, now we have Google – According to this article from NASA, the clouds “play a primary role in how life-giving water circulates around our planet” and shield us from the Sun while trapping some heat on the Earth. “This delicate balance helps to create a comfortable climate, where life flourishes.” So, clouds not only keep us alive, they also help us to flourish (I love that word!) and bring us comfort. Hmmmm.
I looked further and was more than a little surprised to find out that clouds are mentioned quite often and in very special ways all throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament.
- God appears as a cloud to lead people (Exodus from Egypt) and speaks from a cloud in the Old and New Testament (Exodus and Jesus on the mountain top with the disciples, Moses and Elijah in Matthew)
- Clouds are used to increase faith (Elijah) and show promise (Rainbow in clouds)
- Jesus is transported by the clouds (ascended on a cloud and will return on a cloud)
There are lots more times that clouds are mentioned in the Bible, just click here if you want to see them all.
Well, this was all becoming really cool. The clouds are special to God; useful and important and another way to show us ultimate love by giving us flourishing life and comfort. Maybe God was trying to lead me or talking to me from those clouds. In writing all of this out, I came to see a clear definition of love for my neighbors that I can use daily. Love is: to bring real comfort (sympathy, support, cheer) and to help all life flourish (thrive, blossom, expand, bear fruit) and My Neighbors are: everyone under the clouds. What a bonus, the clouds are there everyday as an actual reminder of my purpose. As I find real ways to walk this out, I’ll talk about it all here, on this blog.
I may be the only one that reads this blog. But, if not, if you randomly landed here, leave me a comment. How do you think we can be Clouds of Mercy for each other and for all those that have no cover? Who is your neighbor? How much do you love yourself and are you willing to turn that toward someone else?
I love blogs that give stuff away – it seems like so much fun. So, if you leave a comment, you may win an awesome t-shirt from the Call and Response website. You can learn more about this Human Trafficking documentary (I’ll be talking about Human Trafficking and other social injustices alot) and pick your favorite t-shirt by clicking on the link above. My favorite is below:
Love you all,