Support the Café
Search our site

Some Cross

Some Cross

Mark 8:27—9:1

By U.S. standards I am not a wealthy person, but I have more freedom, safety and access to the resources I need than most people in the world.  I have clean water, enough fresh food, basic medical and dental care.  A computer, for heaven’s sake, and a car!  So I feel very uncomfortable when I hear Jesus in today’s Gospel talking about losing one’s life and taking up a cross to follow him.  What am I risking for this Savior I purport to be following?

My aunt used to say, “we all have our little crosses to bear,” when she was talking about her work.  She taught math to middle school kids at that juncture when learning the multiplication tables gives way to learning algebra, and melt-downs abound.  She was always looking for new, more fruitful ways of helping her students to understand.  But I used to think, “Some cross.  Nobody is killing you.”

In the middle of pondering this, the phone rings.  A friend is reaching out to me, needing somebody to listen to her.  My forearms itch with the need to put what I am thinking into words on my empty page.  But instead I delete the blank document and close my laptop.  Looking out the window, phone against my ear, I settle in.

Outside the day is growing warmer – unnaturally warm for this time of year.  I should make a note to water the trees, I think, then I let that impulse go.  I set aside all my impulses: my needs, my assumptions, my ideas, my plans.  And I listen.

For me, taking up the cross is not one huge, single, life-altering event.  It is thousands of little choices that I make or fail to make every single day.  Every time I choose to really listen, whether it is in conversation, through responding to people’s needs as I go about in the world, or listening to God in prayer, I am dying to myself and following my Lord, who is Love.

Many people are called to give their lives to right the world’s injustices.  We owe them a profound debt of gratitude; they are acting on behalf of us all.  And while I am not one of them, it’s important that I remember my good fortune, pray for those who suffer, and serve where I am able.  I owe my now-deceased aunt an apology.  Who knows what deaths-to-self accompanied each of her daily decisions in her dedication to her students and to God?  For all of us it is the thousand small daily choices, the ways in which we relinquish our own needs and desires in each moment for the sake of our neighbors, that mark our discipleship to Christ.

Dislike (0)
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

2 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dorothy Risty-Schon

I love the articles that you're writing in "Speaking to the Soul," Laurie! Thank you so much! You are such a blessing to all of us.

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café