Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Name on The Cross

The air was clear when we left for church. The sun couldn't be seen in the clouded sky. As we traveled down the road getting closer to church, I began to notice a light fog obscuring my vision. The closer and closer we got to church, the thicker the fog seemed. I found myself trying harder and harder to see, and I knew HE had intended it to be so...

I watched for the steeple as we rounded that curve and when my eyes found it, I smiled with comfort. Entering that room, my mind went backwards in time as I took my seat. Two large crosses were placed in the very front of the church and I thought of yesterday. The words that left the teenager's body at an Easter Egg hunt we attended rang loud, "Had it not been for a place called Mount Calvary....had it not been for the old rugged cross..." Here on Easter Sunday, I sat facing an empty cross, and another draped with a cloth and topped with a crown of thorns. The bare one said nothing but the one with thorns wore the name Jesus. I teared up as I tried to quieten the teen's voice but it got louder, "Had it not been for a man called Jesus..."

As people poured inside the tiny country church I could barely look at the crown of thorns. My optics became occupied with children, hymn books and distractions because every time I looked up, I saw The Name on that cross and my heart began the tremble. I knew HE was about to tell me something and no matter how thick the fog, I had to keep my eyes open, I had to keep looking, and I would see...

I had to sit through a very difficult Sunday School lesson as our teacher read one account of what it must have been like for the human body, to be crucified on a cross, like the Son of God. I hid tears as emotion filled me, and after listening to all of that, I couldn't wait to get back and sit before the crosses. One was still empty and the other still held up HIS name. I wondered what HE wanted to show me so I prayed that my eyes wouldn't dim.

I noticed some of the children around me, the really young ones had little crosses in their hands from their Sunday School class. The music played and family after family made their way up to the empty cross, and placed fresh flowers all over it. It reminded me of a funeral as I watched my friends go up and place their flowers. Tears rolled from me but my vision never clouded. As my family walked up to the front, the aroma of fresh blooms met me at The Altar. My eyes were dried and I began to smile as one by one we all made that cross beautiful...

We sang some more songs and I couldn't take my eyes off of the child in front of us. No more than four or five years old, she sang words to a song she could have only learned by being surrounded by it. She clinched tightly to her little white cross and I noticed something was written on it. I must have stared it through the entire song until I finally saw it clearly...it had her name on it. I teared up as I knew what HE was telling me.

I looked towards the cross with the thorned crown and my heart read the name Jesus. His Name was on that cross for her. His Name was on that cross for me. About the time my tears began to flow again, she turned her little white cross over and on the back it read, "Jesus loves..." When you turned it to the front, their little names were all written on the fronts of their crosses and I sat there thinking about that. We stood for a final song I looked back at the tiny little girl to see if she was still holding onto the cross but I was met with the biggest blue eyes I've ever seen. This time, she had been watching me. We both smiled at each other and in the eyes of a child, HE confirmed HIS message.

As our pastor said, "A cross is just a cross when you remove Jesus." Know He was there, and know why HE was there. Look towards the cross no matter how difficult, because you just might find little eyes looking to you, as you look for HIM. Tomorrow begins our Revival at my little country church and I know how physically exhausting and Spiritually exhausting this can be. It will be the first day of April, the first day of Revival and the first day of my 38th year here on this land. I can't wait to see what HE holds for me...HE LIVES for me, so I need to live for HIM.

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