Clutching the cross

Eric Hullstrom

A clutching cross.

Here’s a rugged and misshapen cross for you. Have you seen something like this before?

It is called a "Clutching Cross." It is uniquely designed to fit in your hand in a clutching position; as if you are holding on to it for dear life. It’s the only way it fits in your hand comfortably.

I saw this in a Christian bookstore and was drawn to it. When I placed it in my hand it just fit so nicely. I liked the feel of literally clutching the cross -- so I bought it. I wasn’t exactly sure why I was buying it, but I knew I "needed" it. Maybe it was because of its uniqueness.

Maybe it was the feel of the wood -- I don’t know. Whatever the case, it now lies on my desk and I clutch that cross whenever I have a chance:

I clutch the cross when I am reading Scripture.
I clutch the cross when I am praying.
I clutch the cross when I am contemplating God’s mission in this congregation.
I clutch the cross as my mind wanders.
I clutch the cross -- well -- whenever I can.

And it feels good to have the cross in my hand when I am reading, praying or contemplating. But there is nothing mystical or magical about this cross. It has not been specially blessed by some uber holy person. It did not come from some holy wood from the Holy Lands. It is simply a cross --

Uniquely designed and misshapen.

For me, it’s simply a reminder to "clutch" the cross and remember:

Why am I here in this place?
What has God called me to do?
What is the mission God has given us?

I also remember that:

I am a sinner and I am a saint.
Jesus’ love for me is boundless.
God’s grace is amazing.
I am part of something big.

So I clutch that cross (not now because typing would be difficult), but I will when I am done here. I clutch the cross literally and figuratively because I am a child of God, forgiven and redeemed. I clutch the cross -- well -- just because I can.

And you don’t need a uniquely designed and misshapen piece of wood in order to "clutch" the cross. You just need to remember --

Jesus loves you and therefore died and rose FOR YOU.

"Clutch" that!

(And your uniquely designed and misshapen piece of wood if you so happen to have one.)


Originally posted Aug. 10, 2012, at The Heart of a Pastor. Republished with permission of the author. Find a link to Eric Hullstom’s blog The Heart of a Pastor at Lutheran Blogs.

You might also want to read:

The view from the cross
Sustaining hope at the foot of the cross
The way of the cross

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