Written originally for The Resurgent
About 6 or 7 years ago I began seeing something…strange. I began seeing the shape of a cross in random places. It wasn’t just a typical “t” shaped cross. This cross had a squiggly line as it’s tail. I’ve tried to recreate it as best I can here.
I don’t think the shape is significant other than the fact that the tail made it notable. Two straight lines intersecting isn’t a rare thing to see, but this was and the places I was seeing it were strange. I can’t tell you when I first noticed it, as I did not know that sighting would be important. I do remember feeling a bit surprised one day when I saw that “cross” scribbled onto the back windshield of a dirty car I was following on the freeway. A few days later I was driving home late at night and as I approached a giant corporate tower comprised of many stories of glass windows, I found myself uttering an audible, “Oh!” as I saw the shape of my “cross” reflected in the glass. Was I going crazy?
Later that week I again saw it scrawled in the dirt of a parked car, next to the obligatory “Wash Me!” humor. Another day, I was walking my daughter to school one morning when I happened to look down at my feet just in time to see two long, thin leaves had fallen to the ground and landed in that cross shape…and one of the leaves had the squiggly “tail”. It was at that point my heart skipped a beat. At first I thought it was some mental trick or some residual weirdness from a dream. But this could be no coincidence. Leaves don’t make this shape.
The final straw came when one day I was in my garage tightening the screws in the door handle of the back door. I bent down to inspect my work and sucked in a breath of shock as I noticed an ever-so-faintly carved “cross” with the squiggly line carved just beneath the door handle. It was nearly invisible, but I ran my finger over it. It was real. I felt the grooves. It existed.
Well, maybe I just saw this and then my brain started subliminally spotting it everywhere else. That makes sense, right? I moved on with my day but still felt uneasy. I went back later to look at the carving. It was not there. Was it ever there? I felt it with my fingers. I saw it with my eyes. And yet it no longer existed.
That was it. I was no longer curious, I was alarmed. These kind of things just don’t happen to me! I’m the practical sort of Christian…I don’t have visions or see signs of wonder! I analyze and weigh and measure…like a good intellectual.
Whenever I have questions of this sort I always turn to my father-in-law, who has been a pastor for over 40 years and is one of the most committed, self-sacrificing, wise men I’ve ever known. I told him about the cross I’d been seeing for weeks now. I told him, “I know this is Christ’s symbol, but where normally it would bring me peace I’m actually feeling frightened by it. It’s scaring me. Do you think it means something?”
His voice took on a higher pitch, always an indication he’s had a revelation. It’s his “now that I think about it…” voice.
“You know…” he started, ” I had this dream the other night and now it makes sense. I saw a city, and a large hill outside the city and the hill was teeming with people…thousands and thousands of people. They were packed shoulder to shoulder, all the way to the top of the hill. And they all had their hands in air, their heads looked up to the clouds and they shouted to the sky, “Why, Lord! Why have you let this happen to us? Where are you? Why do we suffer?”. They cried and shouted, some in self-pity and some in anger. It was so loud. In the middle of the crowd, standing on a giant pedestal stood Christ…adorned in light, arms extended over the whole crowd. He just stood there while everyone continued to cry out. He did not move or change. He was just there. I see now that your cross is pointing to this Jesus on the hilltop. A time is coming when our nation will cry out in outrage and anger. There will be mass confusion and pain and people will ask, “What does God think? Where is God in all this?!!” and the answer will be “Christ still stands.” This is what you’re seeing. This is a reminder to you that in times of turmoil, whatever that might look like, Christ will still be on the throne. He will still be the beacon, He will still stand even when we are looking right at Him and yet straight past Him. Christ still stands. I believe this is the meaning of what you’re seeing.”
At the time Obama was our president and while we were just beginning the social media era of hysteria, things didn’t yet seem that bad. I loathed Obama as a president and felt (and still feel) his policies were designed to ignore a large part of the country and to sow division. However, concerned as I was I certainly didn’t feel that this was the chaos my father-in-law was describing. I didn’t make the connection and tucked away the conversation.
I see now what it all meant. Now we are descending into chaos, into noise, into wailing and gnashing of teeth. Social media has amplified our “numbers” and amplified our complaints and lent legitimacy to illegitimate arguments. Like dad’s vision, social media has made us those people on that hill, squeezed in shoulder-to-shoulder, yelling and screaming in anger, self-righteousness and pain. We are looking straight at the Risen King and still somehow right through Him.
While that brings me pain and even fear the abiding truth of that vision is my greatest comfort…
Christ still stands.
While we are busy declaring our current racial tensions as the most important and pressing issue of our time…Christ still stands.
While we are judging the value of our friends or family members or coworkers based on one opinion they hold on one issue, while we are summarizing the entirety of their lives – regardless of charity or service – based on what they DIDN’T say about race or Nazis or yo momma…Christ still stands.
While we are busy proving to the world that we’re not bad people, that we’re better than those bad people because we have the right opinion…Christ still stands.
While we’re busy ignoring the horrors of life pretty much everywhere else in the world so we can argue about statues…Christ still stands.
While we are busy deleting/unfriending longtime friends who have been with us through tough times and good times…Christ still stands
While we are busy demanding that people choose outrage over kindness and shame over grace…Christ still stands.
While we are myopically claiming that this time is the most turbulent time the world has ever seen…Christ still stands.
While we look straight through Him and the sharp and narrow path to peace He provides…Christ still stands.
Even as we cry out in confusion and beat each other over the head with self-righteous anger and hypocritical demands, Christ still stands.
In a world where Christ is becoming a very dangerous friend to have, and where people feel justified in forcing their definitions of “good” and “justice” on everyone else…Christ still stands.
In a world where I am overwhelmed not only by the sad divisions in our nation but my own life, my own responsibilities, and the mundane tasks that create so much stress day to day…Christ still stands.
We cannot look to each other for moral guidance. The only guiding star is Christ, and He stands firmly rooted even as we cry out to Him and at Him.
Do you choose to be one of those people on the hill, crying empty sentiments to the open sky? Or do you choose to look to the pillar standing right in the center of it all
The world says, “Come together.”
Christ says, “Come to Me.” – Darrel B. Harrison
Kira Davis granted us permission to use this article on our site.
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