~“I thought you wanted to go.”
“Not without the cross. I’m not leaving without the cross.”
She’s six. She sounded forty-two. I searched water high and low for the two inch wooden cross.
“How could it just vanish into thin air?” I said to myself as much as to my granddaughter who had asked me to remove her necklace while swimming because it was getting tangled in her hair. I did. And she noticed the cross was missing.
She had found the old wooden cross a couple days before in a pile of stuff getting thrown in the dumpster. I was thinking—what’s the big deal? She just found it. She didn’t work for it. It wasn’t something she had saved her money for. Well, six year olds don’t really have any money—but still. It wasn’t something she’d been wanting, she just saw it laying on a heap of stuff, and claimed it. She took an old key chain and hooked it to a silver necklace. She wore it ever since—until now. She acts like it’s her prize possession.
“I thought you were hungry.” She did tell me she was hungry and wanted to go. But that was before she noticed the cross missing. I pulled the covers off the pool filters—some nasty bugs and stuff, but no cross.
“I am hungry. But I’m not leaving until we find it Papa.”
Fred’s hands slid up the side of the pool. He filled his empty lungs, wiped his burning bloodshot eyes and said. “Nope, nothing yet.” We just met Fred an hour earlier; he was new in our little village. His hobby was scuba diving, so he took the challenge and was traversing the pool; religiously swimming along the bottom covering every square inch, in search of the cross. He grabbed some air and ducked under the water.
We’d been swimming for I don’t know how long and I was tired and hungry myself. This just doesn’t make sense. Jesus, help me find the cross. Wait. “Nevaeh, come here. Maybe it’s in your—aha.” Hanging from the back of her neck, tangled in her hair was—you guessed it—the cross.
“FRED COME UP, WE FOUND IT.” He couldn’t hear me. He was half way across the pool feeling his way with hands and eyes, scouring the bottom. He told us he had prescription goggles but had left them in his camper; so he couldn’t see too well and was looking real close. Finally he surfaced. Same routine; filled lungs, wiped bloodshot eyes, “Nope, nothing yet.”
“Look” I said pointing to the cross dangling from my granddaughter’s hair. I almost had it untangled.
We thanked Fred for searching and headed for the house.
The deeper meaning was lost on me. I was tired and hungry. But when I told my daughter Sadie, about her daughter’s cross episode she lit into a sermon that I figured would preach. And so, here I am writing at 4:00 a.m. You can probably think of more but here’s a bit of what I’ve come up with.
The cross is priceless
The cross, the one that represents Christ hanging on for our salvation, is discarded by many; counted as nothing but to be tossed in the dumpster. But, for those who see its value—it can’t be bought at any price. And even though it’s free—it becomes their prize possession.
The cross is near
The cross, the one that represents our relationship with Christ, can’t be sought by the works of man. No amount of work or religious scouring can make it appear. Because, it has never been lost, it’s been tangled up in our lives all along.
All we need do is ask
Jesus, help me find the cross.
Remember the cross
Memorial Day we’ll see lots of crosses. Remember the One that matters most.
The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galations 2:20
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9