The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Life!

May 18, 2013

Bearing a cross, easier than a grudge

Keeping The Faith column

Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published March 13, 2004. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.

Church folks often talk about having a “cross to bear.” The phrase probably takes on a different meaning with each individual. I recently read a story about a woman who thought her cross was more unbearable than those of other people.

One night, she dreamed she was taken by an angel into a beautiful lush meadow filled with crosses of every size, shape and description.

“You may discard the cross on your back and choose the one you want to wear for the rest of your life,” the heavenly messenger told her.

The first cross to catch her eye was one adorned with pearls and precious jewels. How it sparkled in the warm morning sun! “Surely, this is the one I want to wear,” she said, eagerly lifting the brilliant masterpiece to her shoulders. Alas, the heavy stones added so much weight, the slender, petite woman could barely walk.

Reluctantly, she set it aside and moved toward one covered with flowers in an array of brilliant colors. “Ah, that’s the one I want. The flowers are beautiful and they have hardly any weight at all. Yes, this is the cross I want to bear,” she told the angel.

Once the beam of flowers was on her back, however, the woman realized there were many hidden thorns and prickly leaves among the blossoms. With even the slightest movement, they pierced her soft, delicate flesh. “Oh, dear, I’ll never be able to tolerate this for the rest of my life,” she said, quickly shedding her latest burden.

She spent hours shopping among the varieties of crosses and finally settled on one much different from all the rest. The small, plain cross matched her tiny frame perfectly, and the weight blended so well with her own, the woman scarcely knew the cross was there.

Just before awakening from her dream, the woman suddenly realized the cross she had chosen was the very one she was wearing at the beginning of her dream. Her heavenly messenger suddenly appeared to explain the paradox.

“You see,” the angel said, “the cross made for you by the Master Designer took all of your measurements, your temperament and your strengths and weaknesses into consideration. It is tailor-made for you alone. If you wear it well, it will be your teacher throughout life. It is not designed to be a burden, but a source of blessing. It is designed to transform you over time into the image of Christ.”

The parable reminded me that how I view my crosses — the unpredictable circumstances that come to me every day — determines their impact on my spiritual life. When I choose to carry a grudge, bear ill will toward someone or labor under the weight of unforgiveness, my cross drags me down into the quicksand of despair.

When I choose to put down those things and pick up love, pardon and a passion for reconciliation, the weight of my cross suddenly disappears.

One thing I know for sure — bearing a cross is a lot easier than bearing a grudge.

1
Text Only
Life!
  • life dr Wellness Wednesday: Adding an ‘I’ to TEAM

    Erica Tuckwiller is pediatrician with a deep-seated passion for changing the course of the childhood obesity epidemic.

    “As a physician, good nutrition is one of the biggest challenges I face in the care of our children and I actually have been involved in the fight against childhood obesity beginning with my senior thesis early in my college career at WVU,” she stated.

     

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • bob thompson The jazz man

    If Bob Thompson’s 30-year career as a professional musician has taught him anything, it’s that there are really only two kinds of music.

     

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leave a good legacy, and respect others’

    The death this week of the Rev. Jerry Falwell led to a network and cable blitz of commentaries on his life. We’ve been bombarded with a flurry of eulogies, criticisms, apathetic shrugs and lots of news footage regarding Falwell’s faith and foibles.

     

    July 26, 2014

  • 072314 Life CrossFit 4.jpg Crossfit Nation: Working out the WOD way

    Just as fashion trends come and go, so do fitness fads, and Cyndie Chinn had tried them all.

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • downsize 1 Living large in smaller spaces

    How is it possible that as your nest gets emptier, your garage gets fuller? Living off the grid sounds tantalizing — the extreme version of paring down. But are you ready for solar panels and growing your own groceries or would a smaller home do the trick?

    July 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Relishing the faith of little children

    July 19, 2014

  • Guns 1 ‘Guns’ for Life

    With the latest World Health Organization figures showing global life expectancy increasing from 64 years in 1990 to 70 years in 2011, staying healthy enough to add quality to the quantity of life is an important consideration.

    July 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • coconut 4 Crack open the power of the coconut

    Now let’s get this straight …
      We know about Parrotheads. And Cheeseheads. But when did Coconut Heads become cool?
    Move over, argan — you are so last season. Another exotic oil is taking lead role in everything from shampoo to weight-loss supplements. That cast-iron skillet seasoning, stretch-mark banishing essence of the hour is — coconut oil.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Free summer serenade concert to be held

    Aurora Celtic, sponsored by Ivy & Stone, presents the free Summer Serenade concert Saturday at 6 p.m. on the Brown House lawn in Summersville.

    July 13, 2014

  • WVU Extension: Healthy summer eating tips for all occasions

    Summer and early fall are the times of year for family reunions, potluck picnics, pool parties and various other celebrations where we like to share food.

    July 13, 2014