These small holding crosses are at the start of an epic journey. After starting out as trees, they have found their way into my workshop here in West Belfast, Northern Ireland. But from tree to workshop is not the end of their journey. They are about to undertake a journey of transformation and then another journey of great distance as they make their way to Florida in the Unites States of America.
As they sit now, they are barely roughed out shapes bearing the saw marks of their recent shaping. They have sharp edges and uneven surfaces. In many ways they are rugged, and that brings with it a certain beauty of course; but it only hints of the true beauty they hold within.
Their journey will entail reshaping through carving, filing, sanding, polishing and oil finishing. It will involve the humility of letting go of what they are now in trust that a hand guides them into better shape.
Then their journey will involve going out into the world to be the thing they will be; the thing I believe they were created to be. And in doing so they will bring great joy, please God, to the one/s who see and hold them. They will bring a sense of God with them.
A prayer to be humble like wood:
Lord, you have made us to be what you will us to be. We are a product of you.
Help us, in humility, to know this and to let go of any will but yours for our lives.
Strengthen us to persevere through the times when we have rough edges and to accept the shaping and smoothing of those edges that life will inevitably bring.
Bless us that we may carry with us the gifts you have given us in order to bring joy and a sense of you with us for all we meet.
Enlighten us with the knowledge that life is a journey of transformation and travel in the bodies and the world in which you have placed us.
Give us food for the journey through communion with you and fellowship with fellow travellers on the road.