Cloud of Witnesses

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the way we
influence people in our lives.  How something that I say or do has
lasting impact on the lives around me.   What makes one
person stand out in our memory banks as being an influencer and the
hundreds of others fade to the background?
    As I’ve pondered this in the past few weeks, there
are several people that I’ve thought about that have made a lasting
impact on my life.   These are the “outsiders” in my life
that have come into my world and made a difference (not the typical
list of family — so don’t any of you get your feelings hurt that
you’re not on this list…you’re ALWAYS influencing me). 
    The first one that I thought of was Clif Mims. 
Don’t know if anybody out there knows Clif or what he’s up to today (I
lost track of him a long time ago.).  But Clif was the very first
youth intern that was hired at the church that my family had just
started to attend when I was 16.  Didn’t do much “formal” church
stuff before that.  But Clif took interest in me and let me ask
some of the stupidest questions that anyone could ever ask. 
(These were the kind of questions that you’d expect from someone
tripping on acid — “Dude, do we move through time or does time move
through us?”)  He drove the biggest red car that anyone had ever
seen — I think it was an old Pontiac Bonneville.  Looked like a
TANK with red leather interior!  Clif came into my life at a time
when I was trying to figure all of this Jesus-stuff out.  Where
ever you are Clif, Thanks.
    Then there was Eddie Parish.  Eddie was one of
my profs in grad school, but more than that Eddie and his family
modeled for the rest of us what true spirituality looked like — and I
have to say it was different than any of us had ever imagined! 
The man has a laugh that will go down in history!  Eddie and Judy
are now running a hermitage
in Baton Rouge to mentor and help others relearn and reconnect with
their own spiritual walk.  Eddie, we’re working on getting down
there to see you guys!
    Others stand out in my mind for different
reasons.   (The list is too long and boring for those that
don’t know these folks.)  Priscilla – for her giving spirit. 
Tim and Andy for their friendship through some tough spots.  Clif
and Anna for being real with us and continuing to love us even when we
don’t look or act like ministers.  Paige for her enthusiasm and
her sweet spirit.  And even now names like Rachel and Caleb, Sean
and Kristie, Barry, Jeff and Gwinn, Randal and Sherri…and others
continue to hold us up as they love us, minister to and with us, pray
for us, and influence us in numerous ways that they will never know.
    Who are the influencers in your life?  Who are
the people that you need to thank that don’t even know that they’ve had
an impact?  Any time I start to list people like this I fear that
I’ll leave someone off and they’ll get their feelings hurt, but I think
that there is a need to appreciate the “great cloud of witnesses” that
surrounds us even now.  My prayer is that God will make us all
influencers of one another and of this world.
Enjoy the Journey!

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~ by Chris Green on October 5, 2004.

One Response to “Cloud of Witnesses”

  1. Just a note to let you know that the web site for Parish Hermitage has moved to http://www.parishhermitage.org/ .Thanks,

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