This photo is one of my new favorites.
I took it at camp a couple of weeks ago, at a service my brother and sister were holding.
I know, you can view it again, just a little below here on another post.
Somehow I'm fascinated.
I stare at it and stare at it, contemplating the cross and thinking about the hard wood, and soaking in the meaning.
The cross of redemption.
The cross means I'm clean! The cross means I'm loved! The cross means I have life!
The cross means that Jesus died.
I stare and stare at it, trying to comprehend why Jesus would die on the cross for anyone, much less me.
There's a reason it is empty.
And that's because he died, and rose again.
I've been thinking that we each have a cross to carry. We each must die for someone, we each must die to something. Because life is found after dying.
We can never attain what Christ has done for us. But somehow, when we face a death of our own, when we carry our own cross, that is following Jesus. Somehow there is grace and strength and depth that comes with that. It makes us broader and deeper and fills us with Him. It fills us with Life.
Carrying my cross, sometimes it is so heavy. Sometimes the wood is too rough. Sometimes I feel broken, blistered, and bloody from carrying. Sometimes I think I can't take another step.
In those moments I am the strongest and I am the freshest and I am the deepest.
Because no one can carry their cross alone. The only way I can carry my cross is by constantly crying out to Jesus, by only thinking of Him, and by only looking to Him for strength.
And I've found it every time.
Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: so clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen