"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses..."
Vilma disappeared down a hall. In a few minutes, she emerged from the back of the house with the mirror off a dresser. "See," she said, "this is the mirror of your grandmother. She was so sure you would come that she did not pray. She put your pictures on this mirror and looked at them every day so she would not forget you." In a ring around the mirror were dozens of my baby pictures, from birth to age two, copies of the same photos my mother had in her albums. I like to think God might be like this: a presence whom we have never seen---perhaps do not know exists---but who has loved us from the beginning. Who puts, on a mirror, images of us at our most tender and vulnerable and wants us to be well, to thrive, and to be protected from harm. I like to imagine God with her wrinkled, freckled face peering at us, remembering us, loving us, hoping for us, embracing us with a twinkling gaze of joy and concern, without our ever needing to know. God's presence in that moment was my grandmother's smiling face welcoming me home from far away. I realized I belonged to people who had embraced me without question, without ever knowing me personally. They simply accepted that I existed and that they should take care of me. The love was enormous and amorphous, untied to me personally, yet able to encompass me when I appeared.
-Rita Nakashima Brock, in Proverbs of Ashes: Violence, Redemptive Suffering, and the Search for What Saves Us (pp.232-233)