Article and Photography by Curtis Beaird
I love clouds. I learned their basic names in seventh grade science. There were low clouds called cumulus, flat on the bottom and fluffy on the top. The middle clouds, the big, tall and boiling cumulo-nimbus. The upper clouds that looked like thin wisps of white streaks high in the sky called cirro–stratus. I liked them all.
From the slight puffs of free-floating white to the rain-filled lightning-streaked thunderstorm, clouds have always been a fascination to me. Their quiet presence floating free in a blue sky...... Their ever changing forms and shapes as they drift on a breeze or hustle by riding a high wind..... They all fire my imagination. I always wondered why?
I found the answer in the Bible.
From Genesis to Revelation, clouds are important to their Creator. It was a simple cloud that formed the backdrop for the rainbow that would remind everyone who saw it of God’s covenant. Clouds and rainbows translate into the promise of God’s care.
A cloud was critical to the Hebrews in making their Exodus from Egypt. Even in their wandering, they would find a guide.
“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud…...”
Then, when Israel “looked toward the wilderness.…..the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.” Exodus 16:10.
Whatever clouds might mean, to me, they remind me of the presence of God.
Clouds were important to the unfolding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Once again, God chose a cloud to both signify His presence and to announce Jesus as his “beloved Son”, Mark 9:7. At that same moment, instructions were given to three of his disciples, “……listen to him.”
Following his death and resurrection, Jesus describes the future of his disciples as “witnesses” of Him from Jerusalem “to the uttermost part of the earth". Then......
"while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight.”
Acts 1:8 - 9.
In the last book, a disciple named John has the last word. “Behold” he says, offering everyone an invitation not only to listen, but to also look and see.
“…….He (Jesus) cometh with clouds …” Revelation 1:7
“ I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord,which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”