Shaking the Cross

It was just before Easter this year, to and fro, back and forth it went, rocking in the ground, not much noise but yet a figurative screaming silence.  for a moment I was stunned stupid, she stood there a broken pathetic looking woman.  I know her and yet don’t know her, She wanders the streets stumping along with a bowed back, big bag and a cowboy hat.  Those who know my home town will probably recognise her.  She stood there oblivious to all, shaking one of the three crosses planted outside a church. Lets call her May, I don;t know her name but she just doesn’t seem respectful.  May is different, she looks different, acts different and lives differently, one glance will tell you that there is some genetic problem, talking to her you can see that she has an intellectual disability, not quite the full quid, but there she stood arms around the cross.

It took me by surprise and my instinctive reaction was to tell her to stop, she turned, fixed me with a steely gaze and shook the cross harder still.  I said ” I will call the Police”, she stopped, looked at me with anger and shuffled off, checking to see if I was watching her, and as I drove off she gave me a two fingered salute and shook her fist. I saw May yesterday, she smiled at me and called a greeting to me and I to her.  I don’t know if she recognized me at all,and it got me thinking.  Why was she shaking the cross?

I met with a friend today, we were in a relationship for a while however I told her that I didn’t/couldn’t love her.  Too many differences, her belief system was very new age, spiritualism, psychics and mediums.  She was keen to make it work at the time and I am sure that if I had told her to choose between those things and me, that she would have chosen me.  Not because I am the greatest catch in the world or even that special but because she like a lot of people wants to be loved and to lave in return.  I knew that even if she gave up those things on the outside she would still want them on the inside, however apart from those things I just didn’t love her.  From a practical point of view a relationship would have made sense, she was generous, warm-hearted, attractive, no children of her own, and financially independent, we got on well but. I didn’t love her. We needed to catch up today, she wanted to sound me out, needed some advice.

She has a new man in her life and they are getting on really well, she is going to church, on her own terms, and enjoying parts of it. I am happy for her but worried at the same time because I know that churches are not very tolerant places in the main, especially evangelical ones, and I don’t want to see her hurt, I reminded her of that  as we had discussed this at length. Another friend of mine came to church with me on Friday night, he enjoyed the service and remarked along similar lines about them being good people, I told him that all churches have people and people are not perfect and that they will judge and do wrong things, and in fact that whilst not ok showed the need for churches, if we were perfect we would not need church, I know that, I have experienced the full gamut of churches from Evangelist, worship leader, deacon through to preacher, I have done it all.  I have been judge and judged, but back to May.

You see I realized that I saw May shaking the cross and I judged her, I told her to stop and scolded her.  I didn’t ask her why she was shaking the cross.  I understood in an instant yesterday that I have shaken the cross figuratively many times, I have been travelling a very lonely road of late, just is, because, nothing to say about that right now, one can be among many people and yet still be very lonely, some days I manage to hide it better than others.  I took some medicine for that today, had a bike ride with a friend, a soul soothing salve for a battered, bruised and beaten up spirit.  I realized that God would not have been offended by May shaking the cross, even if she had torn it down because that is what Christianity is about, taking Christ off the cross.  Instead of chastising May I could have spoken softly, I could have prayed with her and I could have joined her and shaken that cross alongside her I could have carried her cross for her, just for a while.

I realized that May whilst not the full quid, was working it out just before Easter.  I will never know just what she was thinking or working out but she was keeping it real and being honest.  I will finish this post and thank God for people like May who keep people like me, honest. thank you May and God bless you



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