Thursday, March 02, 2006


I covered my crosses with bits of purple fabric that was supposed to be made into a pair of pants. It was the only purple I had, and I simply couldn't stand the idea of going to a fabric store on Ash Wednesday.

They look beautiful, haunting.

I have only two crosses in my house. One is a green ceramic one that I bought at the dollar store and hung in my kitchen because it matched my other stuff.

The other one was a gift from friends who brought it back from Arizona. It is fashioned from a couple of pieces of rusted barbed wire and has a big turquoise in the middle. It is very beautiful. Spare. And for me, pretty deep. It is funny that neither of them are Christians. I was really moved by it when they gave it to me.

In my neighborhood there is a Catholic church that puts out a huge wooden cross during Lent. For most of Lent, it is draped with a big purple scarf. I remember the first time I noticed it during my first Lent. I drove by it everyday and was surprised that I hadn't picked up on it before. When, on Good Friday, I drove past and it was draped in black, I got really choked up.

I know a lot of Protestant denominations eschew these kinds of things, but I have to say that the symbolism of the church is very powerful and deeply evocative for me. I am grateful for the rhythms of the church year... for it's ebbs and flows, it's empty places and building intensity. I like feeling like I am experiencing those rhythms with others. All of us, together, standing before God, members of this amazing body of Christ. Each on an individual walk with our Lord, but none of us, ever, alone.

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