Take Up the Cross

I must confess… my heart has been burdened with something I did. Almost a year ago I spoke out at a meeting. Normally this is never a problem but the issue at hand was quite serious and we, as a community, were determining the future direction that we needed to take. I spent a great deal of time prior to the meeting thinking and praying about what I felt needed to be said. Writing down what I wished to express was necessary as it provided me with the opportunity to seriously consider not only what I would say but also how I would say it so that it could be said in as loving a manner as possible.

When the floor was opened for comments, I prayed yet one more time asking God for guidance as to what I should do. Deep within me I was stirred; it was as though He was saying to me: “You must speak out.” I stood up, took a deep breath, and started to express my opinions, observations, and suggestions. I tried to do it as compassionately and lovingly as I could. I knew that what I had to say would make people feel uneasy; and it definitely did! What I expressed were suggestions that the community didn’t want to hear nor accept. Sadly, I realized when I sat down after I spoke that it was the last time that I would ever address that community again and that my time to leave had arrived.

It has been bothering me and weighing heavily on my heart since that day. What has hurt most is the feeling that it was I who hurt them by saying what had to be said. It hurts because they were people that I loved.

I was gently reminded recently that taking up the cross means standing up in the face of adversity. It means following Him moment-by-moment or situation-by-situation to do his will even when the task is difficult and the future looks bleak.

We are all called to take up the cross. It’s not a joyous thing to do but understanding what it means does open the door for healing to take place afterwards.

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)

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