A Cross To Hold

Holding Cross-crop

Elizabeth recently sent to me a special crucifix, carved from olive wood, that she called her holding cross.  Anne, wife of Father Chris, had gifted the cross to Elizabeth during a difficult period of Elizabeth’s life.  “For when there are no words,” Anne had said.  Elizabeth kept her holding cross close day and night, grasping it as she slept, toting it in her purse, carrying it as she walked along the beach, feeling it in her pocket.  Knowing that I, too, was passing through a challenging time of loss and loneliness, Elizabeth gifted her cross to me.  She sacrificed something holy and dear to her so that I might find comfort in the cross, as had she.  How I appreciate her gift, which arrived the day after Christmas.

Since receiving Elizabeth’s holding cross, now my holding cross, I have often sat in contemplation of its features, simple and beautiful.  I have thought of the wounds of Christ, the pain he suffered on our behalf, the love he beams to each of us, the dreadful certainty of his death, and the certain hope of his resurrection.  Though often a trying exercise, I labor to trust in him to mentor me in each moment, to show me the ways of patience and generosity, to coach me at kindness and compassion.  Turning the holding cross over and over in my fingers, staring at it in my palms, the words of this poem began to flow and form.  It is my hope that this poem inspires hope within all who read it.

A CROSS TO HOLD

These two arms, outstretched,
fit the curving
space between my fingers
as I caress, hold tight, caress.
Those hands, two,
at the end
brought tears, and blood,
that I make my own
through kindness.
The head inclines
to me, to all
the world, the masses.
I wonder at the mystery,
joy in the simplicity.
The feet: his feet: my feet:
wandering purposefully through
time and tide;
standing firm through all;
footprints to follow.
Olive wood glistening
from the oils and sweat
of your hands, of my hands,
from lips’ kisses;
polished with beeswax,
scented with lemon oil:
smooth; soft;
shining.
Hope,
in my hands,
holding.

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11 thoughts on “A Cross To Hold

  1. Harv Russell

    Your cross and how you got it is something that most people don’t do anymore…( give up something that is so meaningful to them ) to lift a person in need of encouragement. This cross and what you do with it reminds me …of me. When I come upon a rock or stone that fits comfortably in my hand , I carry it with me and rubbing and squeezing it puts me back in line with Nature again. I have alot of those which I have collected thru the years, and share them with anyone who would like to have one.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
      1. Roger Baker-Utah Post author

        Thank you for reading and sharing your comment. More importantly, thank you for being the true inspiration for the true story. I treasure the holding cross and all that it represents. God bless you.

        Like

      2. E W-M

        The inspiration lies within you………a true story with true meaning and a true friendship……remember, ‘for when there are no words’ may God bless you always….

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Roger Baker-Utah Post author

    A poem in reply from a friend:

    MY WOODEN CROSS
    (for Roger)
    I sensed your pain.
    I felt your loss.
    In my hand
    A wooden cross.
    “For when there are no words,”
    I was told.
    Placed in my hand
    On an eve so cold.
    I hold you tight
    In silent prayer.
    My pain, my loss,
    With you, I share.
    But now, dear cross,
    The time has come
    To give you
    To another one.
    I send you now
    To someone dear
    And just like me
    He’ll hold you near.
    When times get hard,
    If he sheds a tear,
    You’ll be there
    To calm his fear.
    Please feel the love
    And comfort too.
    My wooden cross
    I give to you.

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    Reply

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