Thumbing through social media yesterday morning, I came across a shared post of pictures depicting societies relentless grip on cell phones. Pictures that were disturbing and shamefully familiar in my own ridiculous phone obsession. It made me physically sick. I reposted exclaiming my contribution to the problem of overuse and complete suffocation of a brain-sucking cultural toy.
After I posted, I put my phone down, along with my head, and contemplated the sickening feeling it had made me. I had let such a tiny piece of metal and plastic come attached to my hand and mind in ways I’d never dreamt. The pictures were non-fictional, yet blatantly real. I felt ashamed. Guilt flooded my heart. It hurt. I felt gross and dirty. I felt the realness of the situation so heavy, and knew no matter what I did, I couldn’t repair the damages. It had been done.
As I bathed in my shame a few minutes, I looked up from my office chair to see my wooden cross on my office wall. It’s a simple cross, 12”x24”, made of a light colored unknown wood. It’s imperfect, yet it gave me a comfort when I saw it in the store where I purchased it. I look at that cross almost every day and, depending on my day, it gives me different meaning. Yesterday morning, it provided and comforted me with forgiveness.
In all the passing time of missed surroundings and opportunities, the complexity of my social media habit had been forgiven – in a flash. Just by the sight of that simple cross. I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t search for it. It was just there. Waiting to give me exactly what I needed and what I did not deserve. My unworthiness has been covered in an instant. The very second I looked up at that cross, Jesus made it very clear to me that He forgave me. Forgiveness washed my heart clean, and the guilt was nowhere to be found. And I cried.
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
Only a few minutes passed when I felt the need to google an image of a cross. Not just any cross, but a cross that spoke to me. Many spoke to me – as all crosses do – but the one I chose had an indescribable “look” to it. And I wondered what word the image would speak to others. So I posted it and asked my audience to give me one word they think of when they look at the picture. And the results were astonishing to me. Jesus met everyone exactly where they were. From the hurting, to the joyful. 80 people gave me a word that they felt. Jesus had met every single person in that very moment.
Today, I look at the cross and I see: Gratitude! Joy! Thankfulness!
The shame and guilt were crushed the very second my eyes focused on the cross! Jesus met me exactly where I was.