From the position of my arms, you might think this is a selfie….but ….
I was just trying to keep the photographer from stepping under that yellow line thus incurring the wrath of the parade police.
Yes, we went to the Celebration parade on Saturday.
It started with the final stretch for some kind of 5 k walk/run thing. I know this because a large group of various sizes and abilities of walkers and runners all wearing the same color shirts passed us. For quite a while.
We clapped for each one and cheered and encouraged.
I used to feel silly doing this. I felt odd cheering for someone I didn’t know and the look on their face was quite focused on the race so I felt I might be interfering in their moment.
That was until….
I actually participated in a race.
At Go St Louis this spring, pushing those two cute grandsons around the 5K and feeling the anticipation that I might actually finish something I had dreamed of starting took a lot of physical and spiritual effort. The last little bit became a mental game to give it my best. It felt like I had pushed that stroller for a really really long time.
But as I rounded the final distance, there were a lot of people who had finished the race and people who were there just to support the runners/walkers. They were clapping and cheering and it gave me a second wind.
Our daughter Sarah had already run and to see her smiling face encouraging me and even as she ran along the sidewalk parallel to us filled my heart with laughter and joy to share this with her.
It didn’t matter what place I got in time. It didn’t matter how I measured up with others. I finished MY race to the cheers of others.
So on Saturday, I clapped and cheered because I have been there. I know.
God says we are surrounded in our faith race by a great cloud of witnesses. They have been there. They faced the some of the same struggles and trials and many faced worse. But they are cheering us on.
It makes all the difference when we are cheered on by someone who has already run the race.
What has God brought you through? Can you look around and find a brother or sister who is struggling to keep going and cheer them on?
We are surrounded – and we are the surrounding – the great cloud of witnesses <3