Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Way of the Cross~

Awkward and uncomfortable,
a fellow believer and I
stand in the hallway at church;
our words guarded,
our conversation stiff.

Words spoken in the past
have now formed a dam,
causing the normal flow of communication
to seek alternate routes.

As we sputter and stammer
and search for the right words,
we are interrupted
by a five year old boy
on the way to his classroom.

"Look, Ms. Stacy!
I have something to show you!"

With one hand,
he tugs on my pant leg.
With the other,
he tries balancing his open Bible,
while flipping pages with his chin.

"WOW. Did you get a new Bible?" I ask.

"No. It's my same old Bible,
but what I want to show you is new."

As he searches for the new treasure
he longs to share,
we "adults" attempt
picking up our awkward conversation
right where we left off.

It is obvious our hearts
are on different sides
of this issue.
It is also obvious
this is a chasm
that will not easily be crossed.

"Oh, look! Here it is, Ms. Stacy.
Here's what I want to show you!
LOOK!"

He points to a picture of Jesus,
bent low,
under the weight of the cross.

"Oh, honey.
It's a picture of Jesus carrying the cross."

"Yeah. It's sad. Don't you think?"

My eyes meet the eyes
of the man standing beside me.
We both nod in agreement.

"Yes, sweetheart.
It is very sad.
But, that's how much
Jesus loves us.
Jesus loves us so much
He was willing
to carry that heavy cross
and He was willing to die on it."

"Yeah," he shakes his head up and down.
"And He died for all of us, didn't He?
For me, and you, and you."

Now he's using his free hand
to point at me
and my brother-in-Christ.

"Well......want to hear the new part?" he asks excitedly.

"Yes, I'd love to hear it."

Again,
eyes of two different viewpoints meet
and we wonder together
what this little heart
has discovered.

"The new part is from when
I looked at that picture.
I prayed and told Jesus
I would carry it for Him.
It's new because this story is old,
BUT, if it was a new story,
this time,
I would carry the cross for Him."

With that,
he snaps the Bible shut,
and heads down the hall
to his class,
skipping and smiling
all the way.

Standing alone once again,
all we can do is smile,
lower our heads and walk,
each to our own destination.

Strife.

Division.

All too familiar roadblocks
in the body of Christ.

One person sees it this way.
One person sees it that way.

Neither can see past
their own way
to see The Way.

The same old story -
time and time again.

But,
what if?

What if this time,
we chose to make the story new?

What if this time,
one of us was willing to bend low?

What if this time,
one of us was willing to sacrifice,
to trade our want for the want of the other?

What if this time,
one of us was willing
to walk the road of love?

What if this time,
one of us was willing

     to carry the cross of the other,

          to walk in a different pair of shoes,

               to see this issue from a different point of view,

                    to give up our all that all might be gained?

I peek in the window of the classroom
where this sweet little boy
now sits at a table with his friends.

As he points to the picture
and excitedly shares his revelation,
I lift my eyes to heaven and smile.

Thank you, Jesus.
Thank you for loving us, 
all of us, 
enough to carry the cross;
the cross You would give 
Your very life on.

Thank you for this precious little boy 
who has opened my eyes 
to see a new way,
a death to self, 
life-giving way.

May, I too, 
be willing to carry Your cross, 
to die to self,
that Your body, 
the church, 
might live.

As I head down
the same old hallway,
I carry a brand new truth
in my heart:

The only way to cross a chasm
is by way of the cross.~




~Stacy

(Re-posting from April, 2012)




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