I want to share with you something I’ve been pondering and I would appreciate your thoughts or comments. Here’s the series of events that led to this thought process.
You may recall this picture I had on my post Believing God.
This cross was made from an oak tree about 2 years ago and has been standing at the entrance to the two houses on this hilltop ever since. Although you can’t tell in the picture, it’s about 12 feet tall.
An interesting thing happened on the Thursday before Good Friday. We had a really strong storm blow through about 12:30 pm on that day. It only lasted 30-45 minutes and we had 1.6 inches of rain in that amount of time along with about 10 minutes of hail.
It was interesting however that we didn’t have a ton of limbs on the ground as we usually do after a bad storm. However, we did have something else on the ground.
I was amazed that the cross was the only thing that fell….and fell face down, purple drape and all. Wouldn’t that make you ‘pause, and calmly think about that’? Maggie even fell as if dead at this unusual phenomenon! 🙂
On Easter Sunday morning, my friend I refer to as the Horticulturist went for an early morning walk with Jesus that began in the dark of the night. As she began her walk, she gathered the purple drape from the fallen cross and held it to her chest as she reflected on what He had done for her through His death, burial and resurrection. She walked and talked with Him as she watched the sun rise on that Easter morning. During that time, He assured her of His love for her. As she turned to walk back to the house her eyes caught a glimpse of something white on the ground that shone out among the gravel on the dam of the pond. Here is what she found:
You may not be able to tell in the picture, but this is a rock…..a heart shaped rock! Wouldn’t you feel incredibly loved and cherished if that had happened to you? And no, for any skeptics out there, that kind of thing is absolutely NOT a coincidence!!
I had already been meditating on the cross falling. It might not have had such an impact on me if it had not fallen on Easter week. But it did and I began to think about something I’ve not pondered before. Why is ‘the Cross’ the symbol of Jesus’ love for the Christian community….and not the empty grave? Or a heart? Or something else? Why the Cross?
Now if it was me (and of course it’s not) I don’t think I’d want the ‘torture chamber’ of my death to represent my love to others. I wouldn’t want to be remembered by the most painful and degrading event in my life, even if it was done out of a heart of pure love. I’m in no way attempting to minimize the importance of the Cross……I’m simply talking about the ‘symbol’.
You may say, but that’s where He showed His love for us in that ‘while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’. Yes, that’s true, but what I’ve been thinking is the Cross was only a culmination of a LIFE where Jesus made daily choices to bow His knee to His Father in obedience. I think those daily choices were maybe an even bigger representation of His love because of the consistency—the day-in, day-out choices that enabled His life to BE the perfect sacrifice on the Cross. If He hadn’t done that, there never would have been a Cross!!
When Jesus gave the Horticulturist a heart shaped rock to represent His love, I thought…. ‘for me’, I repeat ‘for me’, I don’t want the Cross to be the symbol that represents His love for me any longer. I’m still not sure what I think about the whole ‘Christian symbols = idols’ controversy anyway. But if I have something hanging around my neck or on my walls to represent Jesus’ love for me, I want it to be a heart, or His Word….not a Cross.
This is certainly not a ‘rule’ as I think it should apply to everyone. It’s just some of my thoughts for you to ‘Selah’. And while I’m at it, let me just throw in one more thought for your consideration….
For years, I’ve had a doormat at the entrance to my house that says, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. I’m sure you’ve seen one before. But here’s my new thought….should we really be wiping our feet on the Word of God? Why did I never stop to think of this before? Personally, I don’t think I should…..where’s the respect in that, even if my intent was good? So the mat is gone as a personal choice to honor the Word, not wipe my feet on it!
I’ve asked the Lord for years, “What do we do in our culture that is perfectly acceptable but wrong in Your eyes (much like multiple wives in Biblical culture)? It’s hard for us to see anything as sin when ‘everyone’ says it’s ok. But I believe He’s showing me some things….not because He’s legalistic, but because I asked!