Beautiful Yet Terrible

What could possibly be beautiful and terrible at the same time?

During our recent family vacation in New Mexico, we noticed how many crosses were sold. It seemed that every store, every boutique sold some version of a cross.

The ones that surprised us most were fashioned out of plain old sticks, often tied together with barbed wire – simple, yet effective. And they sold for $15.99.

We dragged my brother into one store and asked, “What do you think of these crosses?”

A puzzled look replaced his usual grin as he said, “Those are just sticks.” Yes, indeed.

So for the rest of our vacation, my sister, my sister-in-law and I gathered sticks, bark, twigs, assorted rocks and other natural wonders to make our own versions of the cross. Some will become gifts. Some will seem too precious to give away, so we will keep them ourselves.

cross - barkMy version consists of two pieces of bark that I found on one of our hikes, hot-glued together and decorated with a young pinecone in the center. It reminds me of our family time, of the joys of New Mexico and of the young man who died on a cross – for me.

My favorite singing group, Selah performs a song titled “That Beautiful, Terrible Cross.”  Listen to it here:

Terrible because of the extreme torture its victims endured. Beautiful because it represents a lasting sacrifice that wiped out our sins.

My homemade cross now hangs in my guest bedroom, on the wall with other Southwest memorabilia and reminds me daily of that beautiful, terrible moment when Jesus paid the utmost so that I could be part of God’s family.

It’s worth much more than $15.99.

©2013 RJ Thesman – “The Unraveling of Reverend G” –

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