Friday, June 28, 2013

When I Saw the Cross

May I never boast except in the cross
of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which
the world has been crucified to me,
and I to the world.
                           Galatians 6:14

     When a Christian sees a replica of the cross of Christ, whether it be hanging in a church or around someone’s neck, it serves as a reminder of the price paid for our salvation, our freedom and our hope. We have a small white cross, a gift from a friend in The Cross Ministry, hanging on the fence across the front of our property. We also have a metal cross hanging on the gate to our driveway.

     One morning I looked out my window and saw a young man sticking his fingers through the chain link on the gate; testing out the temperament of our dog. A young woman stood behind him on the edge of the road. Still in my pajamas, I cracked the door open enough to ask if I could help them.

     He replied that their car battery died and he needed help charging it and asked if I had any jumper cables. I did not see a car so I asked where it was, assessed the situation, and prayed a quick prayer for wisdom and after dressing and pulling the jumper cables from the trunk of my car, I asked them to get in.

     As we drove the short distance to the house where their car sat, Jason began telling me his story. The huge gash across the top of his nose and the slight bruising on his face was enough to convince me he was telling the truth.

     He and his girlfriend Katie were homeless; living randomly with whomever would give them a place to sleep. All their belongings lay strewn inside the trunk and across the back seat of the beat up small red car that would not start. He explained that he was jobless and awaiting trial on a “felony charge”. He extolled his innocence and discussed how the other two involved in the crime made a deal to blame him in exchange for their own freedom. He could not leave the area until after the trial but was anxious to get back to Fort Worth because “everyone here is evil”.

     He told the story of being recently beaten up and having his phone and wallet taken. Katie appeared nervous and said nothing.

     After his car started, we talked while waiting for the battery to charge. He explained how he tried to get help from the neighbor. “She came to the door but would not open the screen!” He understood that he looked pretty rough and that she could have been afraid. So Jason and Katie began walking down the road trying to find someone to help. I don’t know why, but his next statement surprised me, “When I saw the cross, I knew you would help me!”

      I asked if I could pray with them. He said yes, but she was not excited about hearing anyone pray as she sat inside behind the steering wheel. He told me she was evil. I knew they needed Jesus. Finally, on the verge of tears, she joined us and I began to pray. The first thing I asked of my Heavenly Father was to help them see Jesus and invite Him to be their Savior if they had not already done that. I asked God to meet their needs and thanked him for the opportunity to help someone.

     Before we parted, I invited them to visit our church, gave them my phone number and a hug. For the remainder of that day and many days after, I prayed for God’s mighty intervention in their situation.

     I will probably never see Jason and Katie again. I will probably never discover the resolution to their situation. But there is one thing of which I am sure—they came to me because of the Cross. No matter how little I might have impacted their lives, I have never forgotten Jason’s words which impacted mine, “When I saw the cross, I knew you would help me!”

     Later in the day, as I told the story to my sweet husband, I could see the look of anxiety spreading rapidly across his face. “Honey, don’t you think that might have been a little dangerous,” his protectiveness raised the decibels of his voice. I responded with a “maybe” but…

     Two crosses on our fence proclaim to the world that we believe in the Christ of Calvary. Those small symbols speak volumes. Just like Jason, I know there is hope and help at the Cross.

©JP 2013

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