Monday, March 18, 2013

On Wearing a Cross

For many years, I wouldn’t wear a cross.  I knew plenty of people who did – gold, silver, large, small.  But even though I’ve been a Christian for as long as I have memories, I couldn’t do it.  I grew up in the age of Madonna and her over-the-top-cross-in-your-face image (among many others during that time) turned me off to the public display of crossdom. 
It seemed to me that many wore the cross as a contradiction to their own behavior.  They behaved and spoke as those who really didn’t understand what the cross meant. For myself, I thought that if I couldn’t represent Christ well with my behavior, then I should not wear one.  So I didn’t.  My own judgment of others and myself put my faith in a box and hidden away from others.  

Years later, my husband bought me a beautiful yellow gold and diamond cross necklace.  Not too big to be gaudy, not too small to be hidden.  This cross made a statement – but I wasn’t sure I knew how to wear that statement and be sincere.  Before I wore it, I thought, “Will I be on my best behavior today?” If the answer was no, it went back into the jewelry box.  I had bought into the lie that as a Christian, I should somehow be perfect now that I knew Christ.  

I wore it here and there.  After a while I found, that the more I studied the Bible, the more I realized that Jesus sought out the imperfect ones – the ones who were rejected by society, imperfect – the “tax collectors and sinners” and in that cross, something that represents pain, suffering, and the ultimate torture to death could be turned into something beautiful – gold and diamonds – and our freedom from what we really deserve.

So I started wearing that cross – hoping that somehow the thin, light metal would somehow weigh down and burn into my chest reminding me of my flaws and how Jesus accepts me anyway – making me the ugly beautiful.  I’m not perfect and I never will be and maybe everyone I have ever seen wear a cross has it on to remind them that without that cross, they remain ugly, but with it on them – burning into them they become beautiful and in this brokenness, represent who Christ really is. 

No comments: