Happy Sunday, soul sistas!
It has been awhile since I did a Spiritual Sunday post so I decided it was high time I did. I am going to try to make this a regular, monthly feature on my blog. Still sorting through what to blog about and when to blog about it but as I approach my first year blogiversary, I will be trying to come up with a schedule. We’ll see how that goes!
I talked a little more than I had planned about my spiritual journey, and my (lack of) religious upbringing in a three part series that you can read here, here and here. To summarize what it took me three posts to write, I have little formal religious experience, didn’t go to church much as a child. It took the hardships of my adult life, and the struggles of those I love most to develop a spiritual life and a relationship with God.
Early on, one of those steps was creating my cross wall.
From there I started buying crosses whose designs spoke to me. I may not remember where each cross on my wall is from but I do know the significance in the design of each one.
Today I thought I would share a little about the crosses on the top row of my wall. From left to right, this is the first cross.
If you look closely, it features several angels amidst a garland of vines and flowers. This cross represents all of the children in my life. Not my own daughters but my students over the years. My life has been so enriched and so impacted by the children I have had the pleasure to work with. Most of them come from very sad home lives and circumstances. I pray for them, their safety, their families. I should write a blog post or series of posts about some of my most special babies. The situations that some of them have endured is beyond belief.
In fact, one morning years ago as I was hurrying around getting ready for school, this little cross fell off my bedroom wall and broke. I was so upset because I felt it was a sign or an omen that something terrible was going to happen collectively to the children who were my students at the time. I didn’t have time to try to glue it back together so I just picked up all of the pieces and put them on my dresser.
PC and I weren’t married at the time but I remember once I arrived at work calling to tell him that the cross had broken. I told him how worried I was for the children. I had just started a new job as the librarian in a school that was situated in The Devil’s Triangle area of northeast El Paso. I didn’t really know the children that well but knew of the poverty, gang violence and drug abuse they lived in.
As I made my way toward the cafeteria for lunch that day, I saw all of the children who were out for recess being ushered into the cafeteria hurriedly by the P.E. coaches, playground monitors and administrators. There was a desperate look on the faces of the adults as they directed the children to remain calm and quiet and to listen for further directions.
Someone called out to me to get back inside the library, to lock the door and turn out the lights and to grab any children I saw out of their classroom and take them into the library with me. For about five hours, our campus was on lock-down after police received a call that an armed man was seen wandering onto the parking lot and playground of the school. The SWAT team was called in and they moved from classroom to classroom in all black clothing, guns drawn looking for the suspect.
It was one scary afternoon.
But in the end, no one was ever found. We were released and allowed to go home at 5:00.
When I got home, I went almost directly to my broken cross. PC helped me glue it back together and to look at it now, you wouldn’t notice that it was ever broken. Just a little chip missing on its edge.
As we hung it back on the wall, PC commented that it has been a terrifying day for the children at Wainwright Elementary School but when it was all over, everyone was safe and maybe just a little shaken up for the experience. So I pray at this cross for all of the children in my life.
The cross in the middle is one that I call my umbrella cross.
Kind of like an umbrella insurance policy that covers everything.
I can’t remember where I got this cross or even when. I love the warm colors, the dimensional metal heart in its center. Around the edges of the cross there are flowers that almost look like pieces of popcorn (one of my favorite foods). I think of the heart as God sheltering the whole world below Him. And all of those haphazard brush strokes are the chaos that affects our world and our lives everyday.
If you look back the picture of my cross wall, you can tell that this cross radiates light over all of the others.
Isn’t that perfect?
In an imperfect world.
I pray at this cross for our world, our country, for those I don’t know who are suffering, for our soldiers, our police, EMTs, and fire departments.
The third cross on the top row is my Lord’s Prayer cross. Because I was given it when Brennyn was undergoing surgery, I think of it as the cross that represents health and wellness. Brennyn had to have breast surgery in October of her freshman year of college. Ironically, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. And this cross has pink flowers that remind me of the pink ribbons associated with breast cancer campaigns.
Now this cross is the one that represents the health problems we all face during our lives and how we must work to be the strongest and healthiest that we can be. Exercising, eating right, taking preventative steps to retain our health.
And I love the Lord’s Prayer. Sometimes when I am nervous or upset or even those nights when I can’t sleep, I will recite it to myself. It always brings comfort.
I pray at this cross for the health of those I know who are sick. I express my gratitude for the amazing help of my 88 year-old mother. I pray for the requests within my prayer group.
So those are the crosses in row one.
I will get out my blog planner and make sure to schedule another Spiritual Sunday post for the near future. Some of my favorite crosses are on the next row. Come back when I write about them.
Do you have a cross wall or a special spiritual display or piece of art in your home?
Here in El Paso, where the population is largely Catholic, houses are built with these little cubby holes near the front door in which home owners often display a shrine to the Virgen de Guadalupe. My Prince calls these nooks “baby Jesus’s”. Here is a picture of our baby Jesus.
I hope it doesn’t appear odd, or worse, sacrilegious but we don’t have a statue of Guadalupe or a cross in our baby Jesus. We just have a candle, and a print, two geodes, a little sculpture and a photo of PC and I taken at the blessing of our home.
If you have a cross wall or baby Jesus or shrine in your house, tell me about it! I love to hear from YOU.
Hugs and kisses,