To keep family and friends updated during the early days following my cancer diagnosis, my brother created a Caring Bridge site for me, a website dedicated to connecting people with serious illnesses and those who care about them. News of my diagnosis spread quickly; just as quickly loved ones signed up to receive my Caring Bridge postings.
From my narration of what stage IV cancer had done to my body to the grief of having to resign from my very full and wonderful life, each of my posts was met with dozens of postings to the Caring Bridge site, as well as other messages from people from all corners of my life.
I started to realize that through our connectedness via Caring Bridge, I was being surrounded by a cloud of witnesses greater than any I could have imagined before. Thus it is through this cancer journey that I’ve been awakened to a new–indeed, almost mystical–understanding of the church universal, mediated through what I’ve come to call the virtual body of Christ; that is, the body of Christ incarnated in, with, and through the power of sites like Caring Bridge.
From “Cloud of Witnesses,” by Deanna A. Thompson, in the April 2013 issue of Gather magazine.