Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Signs of the Cross

The past few weeks have belonged to God. They weren't about writing, or working, or even being a wife and mother--though I was a writer, looking for a job, Ken's wife, and the children's mom. I gave much of my attention to prayer and study.

The devil didn't like it.

So, of course, he pulls out the stuff that has always worked before. Depression. A prescription for pain killers just asking to be abused. The thorn in my side that I've written about many times before, but I refuse to name so as not to give it any power. Discouragement that nobody has called about a job yet. Worry about the children needing shoes and clothing. And none of this came in small manageable portions. I got heaping, evil floods that leave me breathless and runnning to the cross.

Only, I didn't quite run straight to the cross. I stayed inside my head a while, taking hits, complaining loudly, considering having a vicodin and a long nap. Instead I walked to a market for dinner determined to take the medicine for what it's prescribed for, physical pain. I walked, railing at Ken. "Maybe I did the wrong thing. Maybe I should...blah, blah, blah."

And then, I looked down. On the ground, a little beat up, but still retaining its shape, was a cross. For real. It was right in front of my feet. I stopped, midcomplaint, and picked it up, looking at Ken.

"It's a sign," I said.

He nodded, because he thinks I'm being ridiculous. But I know.

Sometimes we forgot about the cross. We forget that God loves us fiercely enough to give everything. Very God of Very God, became the Son of Man so that He could save us. So that He could heal us. So that He could take care of us.

The cross I found, worn and missing some of the blue rhinestones that embellished it, teaches me that like it, we may take a few hits, but the cross itself doesn't change. It's resilient. In the end, it will be there, having accomplished that which it was and is supposed to. I am redeemed, because He paid the price.

Later, I'm sitting on my bed, and looking at a catalog. There's a wall cross, and it jumps up from the page to confront me. It says, literally--the words were written on the cross, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope, and a future." This is the scripture God gave me when I began to write for Him. He calms my spirit, saying, "I'll take care of you. I will not harm you."

One thing Orthodoxy has given me is the sign of the cross. I rely on this blessing frequently, and feel it's protection each and every time I move my fingers from forehead, to belly, and then to each shoulder.

I stop writing and make the sign and speak, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." The Trice Holy Hymn rises in my soul. Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

I feel like I'm going to be just fine.


Paula said...

Oh Hallelujah! God is so good and true and personal.

Thanks for making me think more about the sign of the cross. Not raised in that tradition I had never thought of the symbolism of how the cross covers me, covers it all, is victorious in me . . .

I love you!

Suzan Robertson said...

Ooh, this was such a cool post. I've been in a season of great discouragement and this lifted me, and put my eyes back on Him.


Heather Diane Tipton said...


Anonymous said...

Ragamuffin Diva, I have indeed missed you. My heart cries out as only you will understand. I am glad you are growing towards the cross as a plant towards the sunshine. I fear I am too in the shadows to grow. But I love you dearly, my sweet bestest friend. Keep growing.

The Humanity Critic said...

Its good to see that you stayed positive when the devil tried to bring you down. I'm digging the blog..