Being semi-professional athletes, R and I are fully aware that we should be able to talk whilst walking, without getting puffed. So we spend a lot of time complaining about sore feet and sharing our most profound thoughts, otherwise known as gossip and chat about nothing particularly important. I was feeling especially deep on this occasion and decided to tell her about my observation. I'm not really sure if it made a lot of sense.
I figure that the cross was a nasty piece of work created by the Romans with the sole purpose of killing off the scummiest criminals with as much suffering as humanly possibly. There have been plenty of other instruments of death and torture over the years and I began to wonder, if Jesus had suffered a different kind of death, what jewellery, stained glass windows and other objet d'art we would have decorating our cars and necks instead of the cross with the clean symmetry, encrusted so beautifully with silver and swarovski crystals. I might look rather fetching in something like...ooh, I dunno...a guillotine pendant?
|I can see that head hole lending itself to a nice piece of bling|
The guillotine strikes me as a quick and clean type of execution. Likewise with the pistol:
|Quite snazzy really, eh?|
Personally I think "death by chocolate" would have been a nicer way to go and I wouldn't mind wearing a block of Hershey's around my neck - although the irony of a noose on a pendant has a certain charm (incidentally, my grandfather was tragically executed by hanging in the 1930s but that's a whole other blog post). I couldn't find a noose pendant but this bracelet looks pretty stylie:
|Gratuitous hanging cartoon|
I know I had something very insightful to say about this whole execution thing but somehow in the streets of South Auckland I lost my train of thought. Thankfully God seemed to think that it was worth explaining further and during Church on Sunday, my friend H had a similar epiphany. Only, she explained it better.
She'd been looking at the cross at the front and it struck her that it was a rough instrument of torture and death. Then her mind wandered off in a similar direction to mine as she began to wonder how an electric chair would suit a stained glass window.
|Couldn't find an electric chair in a stained glass window|
As H was speaking, I nudged R in the ribs just to make sure she was aware that I had said it first (not that I'm competitive or anything). Then H got to the point. It seems that the very cross itself has been redeemed - almost revered. Something so ugly and horrendous, has been converted into something else because Jesus bled and died on it and miraculously rose to life three days later. Then H said it: "Like us". In a way, we were ugly with all the stinky stuff we've said and done and because of Jesus, we're changed. We've been made beautiful because of Him. As Christina Aguilera would say: "I am beautiful, in every kind of way...". And so are you. Because of Jesus.
The Cross In My Pocket
Ummm...I don't know who wrote it but I love it anyway
I carry a cross in my pocket
A simple reminder to me
Of the fact that I am a Christian
No matter where I may be.
This little cross is not magic
Nor is it a good luck charm
It isn't meant to protect me
From every physical harm.
It's not for identification
For all the world to see
It's simply an understanding
Between my Savior and me.
When I put my hand in my pocket
To bring out a coin or key
The cross is there to remind me
Of the price He paid for me.
It reminds me, too, to be thankful
For my blessings day by day
And to strive to serve Him better
In all that I do and say.
It's also a daily reminder
Of the peace and comfort I share
With all who know my master
And give themselves to His care.
So, I carry a cross in my pocket
Reminding no one but me
That Jesus Christ is Lord of my life
If only I'll let Him be.