Holy Cross Day – Br. Todd Blackham

Isaiah 45:21-25
Philippians 2:5-11
or Galatians 6:14-18
John 12:31-36a
Psalm 98 or 98:1-4

I was a teenager when I found it.  A simple silver cross only about an inch and half tall.  Plain, unadorned, simple slightly rounded arms smooth and finely wrought.  I found it in a little silver shop in an old mining town in Colorado.  I wore it for years, first on a little box chain, then re-strung a few times, leather cords, braided hemp, wooden beads, but always that simple silver cross around my neck.  It was, beyond language, a token of great importance for me.  Something that I couldn’t articulate at the time, an attraction, a reminder, an anchor.  This constant companion that would make itself known to me on a cool day when I might slip it under my shirt and I feel the cold metal pressed against my breastbone.  Or in a daydream I’d find myself toying with it with my fingers, sometimes compelled to bring it to my lips for a kiss.  It was precious to me.

And one day, after returning home from travel I noticed it wasn’t around my neck anymore.  It wasn’t in my pockets or my suitcase either.  It was gone.  I had lost it.  And, truthfully, I was heartbroken.  For months I checked other coat pockets, inside shoes, anywhere it might have ended up but I never saw it again.  Now, it’s not that it was such a costly item that I missed it; nor was I somehow superstitiously clinging to it for luck.  It was simply because of the joy and delight I had found in it, all the things that I couldn’t speak it spoke to my heart in close proximity.  Ineffable strength and peace.  That’s perhaps one of the first times I found the power of the cross. Read More