Early in December, as the reality of winter set in, it became apparent to me that there was a ‘thing’ in my life I could not fix.  Since the situation had resisted my efforts to grow it in a healthier direction for over a year, it occurred to me that perhaps I was not meant to fix it at all. Perhaps it would be better for everyone involved, if I allowed the winter, at least as far as my active role was concerned, and trusted Jesus to do his work of making things grow, whether I could see it happening or not; to trust Him to fix it.

Although I don’t think I’m prone to icons, I hung this cross around my neck, (I could fold my fingers  around it) to remind myself to trust. To pray certainly, but the goal was to put Jesus in a bigger role in the situation’s life, and me in a smaller role. So I hung the cross around my neck, and every time anxiety arose regarding the situation, I quietly gripped it. It put a few dents in my skin because it is constructed of nailheads, but basically it was a good reminder.

Less than two weeks later, our family was faced with a moral crisis.  I held onto the cross tighter during the day. I clutched the cross during the night. I prayed, ” Jesus, I can’t fix this, either.  I don’t even know how to begin…”  I prayed a lot of other prayers, too.  I cried and prayed, and fasted and prayed.  I have begged and prayed. And our friends have prayed. You get the idea…

Now it is 3 months and 4 days later. Over night, we made a very simple, humble decision out of those prayers about how to love God and our family well. Then this morning  I woke up early to get ready for church. When I reached down to peel off the cross before getting in the shower, there was not just a little temporary dent from the corner of a nailhead, but a henna-colored tattoo of three stations of the cross burned into my left breast, right over my heart. I stared at it, dumbfounded. When my husband came in, he stared at it, dumbfounded, “What …is that?”


I don’t  know what all it might mean; but in the setting of  having waited and prayed, and fasted and prayed; at the very least, perhaps it is an indication of God having imprinted the work of the cross on our situation. Perhaps He is imprinting the cross on our hearts. Perhaps waiting and trusting is exactly where we are supposed to be; our situation ‘unfixable,’ but our hearts malleable to the work of the cross. The cross of Jesus Christ – symbol of a deed so profound it transforms crisis to life-altering victory time and time again. The cross can change fear to hope. Rework grief to revelation. I do not yet know the full extent…but there are these imprints of the cross.

jfig  3/2018

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