The Cross that Skip Built
Last year when I began this blog, I just knew that I would spend the year thanking everyone who had touched John Michael’s life…….what a lofty goal that was. But, perhaps my journey was meant to take longer, winding through the days of recovery, finding my way through the strands of my broken heart, allowing me to reflect, pray, and open my life to blessings that will allow me to see what a wonderful world it is, filled with more people to thank and be thankful for……
My plans were to use this day to remember those final hours, but my journey has taken me somewhere else…..this day will be to share how God works so perfectly in our lives….when we least expect it.
The Cross….I read somewhere about the significance of the last three days of Jesus’ life before the resurrection…….our blessing this past week was trifold. First, Skip went to visit the cemetery and discovered wild flowers growing in front of JM’s stone, in the shape of a perfect heart – what an awesome message from John Michael to us……sending his love to us. Second, I was in the flower shop choosing flowers for this week when I saw a tarnished bracelet among the other jewelry. I asked to see it – a small sterling silver bracelet with a heart attached, with the message “It is love, not reason, is stronger than death.” I bought it, shined it and wear it today, along with my prayer box necklace holding JM’s baby teeth. Our third blessing came when Skip broke the cross that holds the flowers next to JM’s stone……..last weekend, Skip, Blair, Hayley, and I walked out towards the pond where Skip found a small cedar tree that he cut down, honed the ends, and nailed together for a new cross….so healing to watch as he worked on the cross and then planted last Sunday….which takes me to the story of the cross in JM’s journey to Heaven. My brother had asked his former pastor to stop by and visit JM in the hospital. The first Sunday JM was at Baptist, the pastor’s father came by. An elderly gentleman, he bypassed me as though he only had eyes for JM. I so vividly remember watching John Michael sitting on the edge of the bed, his eyes also locked on this man holding a Bible who said, I’m going to provide church for you today. After he had “preached” and said a prayer, he began singing “The Old Rugged Cross.” I quickly thought to myself why would he choose that depressing song……..was I ever wrong. John Michael and this gentleman looked as if they were the only people in the room – and, JM had this angelic look on his face as though he had just seen Jesus. I guess this resonates so much because as I watched Skip cut down that cedar tree – and, then nail it together, another message was being silently preached – one of hope and love that all things do work for God’s purpose – the puzzle pieces we don’t understand make perfect sense to Him – and, it is only through our faith that the end result is revealed to us.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.