In the Shade of the Cross

Springtime is stirring in Texas. Redbuds are blooming, birds dance in the trees, and the sun lingers like a favorite friend. Springtime means new life, and if you’re observing the season of Lent, it means you''re only days from the salvation song of Easter. As Christians we naturally lean toward the joy of resurrection. Rather than dwelling on the agony of the cross, we anticipate the empty tomb, so that Easter Sunday may be celebrated without fully gazing at Jesus on the cross. But if we pause and look, Jesus on the cross speaks compassion and healing into our own experience of pain.
Seeing the Cross
Recently, I visited the cemetery to honor my son, who made his transition to heaven almost ten years ago. While I know he’s celebrating an unending springtime in heaven, I still miss him here. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and look forward to giving him a hug again, hearing his voice, laughing together.
I sat there looking at the grass, imagining the day when we’ll be together, when I became aware of a large shadow in front of me, in the distinct shape of a cross. I turned around to see what was forming the shape and realized that the sun was coming through a pecan tree at just the right angle to create a cross over his resting place. Then I noticed my own silhouette in the shadow too, sitting under the cross. In that moment, I realized that even though it seems my son and I are apart, we are together in the shade of the cross.
Seeing the cross that day opened my heart to the relevance of the cross in this present life. More than a symbol of future salvation, it connects us to an incredible love that blurs the boundaries between heaven and earth, right now.
Connected through the Cross
In the thick of human experience, the cross declares a direct and personal connection to God’s presence, compassion, and love.
Presence – Whether you’re going through a difficult valley or celebrating a mountaintop moment, you are not alone. Jesus said, “Surely I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). Christ is with you and within you to provide strength, peace, hope, and guidance for whatever life may bring.
Compassion – Because Jesus walked in human shoes, he understands our human thoughts and feelings. Even if you find it hard to pray, you can approach Jesus on the cross and experience a compassion that reaches beyond words to heal your heart and restore your passion for living.
Love – The cross reveals the mysterious relationship between human life and a greater plan. We’re all part of a divine design that is guided by God’s love. Even when we can’t understand the things that happen in this life, by faith we can rest in the ultimate truth of love: “The greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Whatever your circumstances, you are covered in the shade of the cross. And because of the cross, you can step forward into Easter – a springtime of the soul that allows the possibility, the miracle, of new life. It’s the resurrection story told again, in and through you.