The Cross Post

I have an addiction – an obsession.  I don’t know how it is going to affect my life or what impact it will have on my overall health but I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t care any more.  I just have to continue.

Yes, I am still working on this damn cross:

Progress on the cross

I figure I’ve got about eight hours of work left to finish the thing.  Still can’t tell you exactly why I am drawn to this project but there is something there.  It is there and it needs to be done that’s all I know for sure.  As I move along with the cutting I discover little tricks that make the work go quicker – like the fact that the pattern repeats and that there are only really 5 or 6 basic shapes of holes.  Learn to cut one and the next one is faster to cut.  I’ve also learned that it is better to get a new sharp blade rather than to struggle along with a dull blade.

There is a life lesson there that I hope I don’t have to spell out…

As I cut, I do a lot of thinking about the cross as a symbol.  It’s really an odd symbol for a church that is supposed to be about love and forgiveness.  Think about it for a while – the cross is really an instrument of torture and death that the Romans used to keep the conquered in line.  Rebelling against the Romans could find you hanging from one of these things. Even in recent American history finding a burning cross on your lawn was not a good thing.

I am sure that a theologian would talk about the cross as being a symbol of the “risen Lord” or of “Victor over the grave” or some such thing.  I am sure I could write that speech but that isn’t the one that I think of while I am cutting.

What I keep coming back to is my basic belief that Jesus came here to be a role model.  He came here to live for us the life that we are expected to live.  By willingly going to the cross instead of other actions he could have taken, he showed us the path we are to follow.  It is far too much to explain in this one little post, but in my view Jesus didn’t come to preach but rather to teach by example.  He healed people, loved people, fed people – he showed us the kind of world it could be.

Perhaps I am just missing much of mainstream Christian thinking but for me it is not what will my life be after death, or whether or not I get into heaven.  Rather it is about how I live here and now.  It is my current behavior that concerns me.

Have I been loving to those around me?  What have I done to feed the hungry? Have I been a healing presence?  Have I been resisting evil?

Well, sometimes I just think too much but those are the kinds of thoughts I think while cutting.

And there is a question that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately while in front of the scroll saw.  One that I directly related to this cancer thing in my body.  It’s not a new or even an original question.  I can’t recall where I heard it but I do wonder from time to time what happens if the cancer doesn’t get cured?  Is it possible to be healed without being cured?

So much of this prostate cancer thing is emotional and mental.  It changes how you think – what you find important.  It’s not just because I now have something that could some day end my life but there are biochemical changes in the body that affect the mind.  My recent depression is likely just due to chemical changes because of the disease and I’ve countered that with exercise and my meditations over this cross.

Body and spirit are both affected.  Healing my body is something I go to the doctors for but my spirit is something I go to God for.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I work in the high tech world doing software release engineering Then I got prostate cancer Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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4 Responses to The Cross Post

  1. Raymond says:

    Jesus as template works both theologically and in the woodshop. Joseph Wesley Mathews said that we should view Jesus as a sample, not an example. (That is, a demonstration that it can be done, but not a prescription for exactly how we must do it)

    Beautiful progress, by the way.

    And if I were still writing songs, my next one would be dedicated to you and called “I’m Addicted to My Cross”!

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    • Andrew says:

      From time to time I do have deep theological thoughts but usually when I have tool in my hand.
      Some how I think I am glad you’re not going to write a song. You’d likely do it to the tune of “The Old Rugged Cross.”
      and Jesus is one of my favorite woodworkers…

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  2. Photockie says:

    It is possible to be healed and not cured. In fact it’s more important to be healed than cured.

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    • YAPCaB says:

      Whoops, wasn’t paying attention. I also have a blog authored by Photockie. You do wood working, I take photographs. You may want to check it out! Photockie.wordpress.com

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