Re-purpose This. Holy Spirit: Who or What? #13
8/25/2017 1:03:53 PM
A Re-Purposed Cross. Holy Spirit: Who or What? #13
How can we explain what draws us? I mean, we have all had experiences where we felt compelled to walk toward someone, to connect or say
something . . .
Compelled. By. Something. Unexplained.
We have all had scenarios that beckon us as though long unseen tentacles have attached themselves to our very souls. That's how I felt drawn to the homeless group that gathered in the basement of the old Friends Church in Long Beach. I just couldn't stay away. Every time I was able to leave my very different life in the OC, bring clothes or food, to hug or encourage, I was so moved, and just kept thinking, 'this is where Jesus would be.'1 I was not there too long when I was asked to start a prayer meeting with the folk. Not only was I pleased that they actually came to pray, but that they were so open, transparent and authentic-especially with me. Even though life on the streets left each hopelessly vulnerable, so many were willingly vulnerable praying with me, even though we were a large group. But one thing troubled me --
there was no cross in the big old basement.
Thankfully, that did not last long. After telling my buddy about it... (My buddy's name is John, and he happens to be my next-door neighbor, and he can do anything. A fine chef by trade, and a barrel-chested dude who still catches a barrel on his surfboard, he is a home-brewer with fine IPA's and stouts, and now-well, he's also crafting incredible one-of-a-kind specialty knives2) ... he used his day off tobuild me a big heavy wooden cross, even distressing it to make it look like the ol' rugged cross. Then he loaded it in my car for me. Yeah, that's a friend.
Since leaving the hood a few years ago, the cross has been in my backyard, where blackberry vines cozied up to it . . . until today. Today I repurposed the cross.
We all need to repurpose the cross.
Remember several days ago when I mentioned 'that which oft lurks behind what is visible to the eye ...' [It was in "Transfer Here for Peace" http://pastorwoman.com/ReadArchive.aspx?id=2881]... 'may be a lot of garbage'? In our gardens, old dead leaves, but in our hearts and minds, things that rob us of inner peace such as bitterness, shame, un-forgiveness, unresolved emotions, thoughts to which we play victim.
Well, after I cut back the vines in my back garden, old gnarled branches housed dead leaves; when I began pulling more down today, the old fence was at risk as well! What to do-the solution came from the far corner of my yard ~
the ol' rugged cross. Determined, I dug a slanted hole, powered the ol' cross up and then wedged it, stabilizing the fence.
Yep today I repurposed the cross.
Why the details? When you unearth thoughts and emotions that have bothered, weakened and beset you, you must anchor yourself once again to the ol' rugged cross-the truths of life with Jesus. Or perhaps you never have aligned yourself with Jesus and the cross, but all of life only makes sense from the perspective of the cross-an understanding of what Jesus did on that heavy ol' rugged cross. And here's the thing:
the ground is level at the foot of the cross.
No one of us is better or worse than the other as we stand at the foot of the cross-we all come up short, we all come up needing Jesus. When we choose to be Christ followers, the Holy Spirit takes up residence within. Let us not forget, there is no other faith where God comes to us humans, and promises to always be with us. And once again, Paul~ "For all of God's promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding "Yes!"3
Once again, something in my garden served to symbolize something so profound in my life with God, your life with God. The Cross is always relevant and must be central to our existence.
The Cross -> the Holy Spirit within -> because of the Cross,
our lives repurposed.
1 - It wasn't too many years before God directed my paths and intentions toward student athletes at my nearby public high school, but my time spent on the mean streets of Long Beach profoundly impacted my heart and thinking, for which I am forever grateful.
2 - You can find him on Facebook, Splithops
3 - 2 Corinthians 1.20