The Hidden Cross

Scatterbrained is not a strong enough word to describe my thought process. My mind feels like seventeen monkeys souped up on espresso, attempting to jump-start a jet engine with a single wrench coated in grease. Okay, you get the sticky picture.

I’m a chaotic creative. I write stories and craft items in semi-organized madness. Perhaps I should audition for the role of mad scientist one day.

I love to work with epoxy resin and create wall décor, jewelry, and knick knacks. One day, I was photographing my epoxy merchandise for an online market, and someone showed interest in a resin cross I had just posted. After discussing the price with them, I went to the spot it was supposed to be stored in, but it wasn’t there. I returned to where I had photographed it, but it wasn’t there either. I remembered my crew of caffeinated sugar-high monkeys and retraced my steps. Surely one of them misplaced it while I was working. I looked around the house for about an hour, but had no success. Greased brain monkeys function better on a full night of sleep, so I went to bed and, after work the next day, I searched again. Two and a half hours of cleaning proved null in locating the copper-colored resin cross. It must be somewhere obvious that I’m overlooking. After enlisting my husband’s help, we searched for another hour with similar results. Nothing, nada, and zilch.

My frustration with my primate squad grew to the point of desperation. How had I misplaced this item so badly? In shame, I headed down to my workshop to craft another cross for this buyer so they wouldn’t have to approach Christmas empty-handed. I crafted the second cross in frustration and prayed. “God, could you please show me where I hid this cross? I’ve looked everywhere for it.”

He whispered back, “Why don’t you search for the true cross the way you search for this imitation? You have spent hours cleaning and searching for this decoration. How would your life be different if you were like the woman who lost her coin (Luke 15:8–10*) and searched for me as you search for this wall decoration?”

The sticky brain monkeys ceased their howling and sat down around the jet engine of my mind. What would happen if I valued the cross more and shut everything else out? What if my salvation took up as much space in my brain as this lost item had?

“You’re right, God, I need to seek you more. I need to panic when I feel far away from you and strive to draw near to you when I’m pulled away.”

A few days later, I received a text from my husband that he had found the original cross. Astounded, I hurried home from work and asked where on earth in our sparkling clean house had he found it? He took me to the spot where I had originally photographed the cross for the show and pointed to a shelf near ground level. In the shadows of the shelf, I saw the cross. It had been turned upside down, revealing only the black side of the cross instead of the colorful front. I laughed at the simple answer to the question “Where did the cross go?”.

That question lingers in my mind still today. Do I know where my cross of salvation is? Am I striving to search for Christ daily and keep him at the forefront of my mind? The truth is, my humanness is evident and my chaotic brain often cannot keep Him first. But His love overcomes. He values me above all else, and when I fail, He’s happy to take me by the hand and show me where the cross is lying, right in front of me.

Though I know my monkey-ran brain will fail me again, I know His love endures, and the cross is always nearby, even when I cannot see it.

“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Luke 15:8–10*

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