Wednesday, October 12, 2005

On Crosses and Friends

I'm sitting here at home in my pj's. Paul was supposed to have called me today to meet for lunch. It's now 3:30pm, lunch has passed and no phone call. Grrr! If you say you are going to do something, then do it! Don't sit and jerk my chain around because you have trust issues!!! I could have gone and done something else instead of sit here and wait for the phone to ring! Be prepared for an ass-chewing when you finally do remember to call, you twit!! That is, if I decide to take your call in the first place. Hmph!

I went ahead and ate some leftover pizza for lunch. I should have had a V-8.

I haven't been sleeping well lately, and I don't know why. As of lately, I haven't been able to fall asleep until 3-4am. So, I read...write in my journal...attempt to do the bookwork I'm supposed to do for my job (because that sort of boring thing should be a clear path to Snoozeland)...snuggle with George (the cat). Last night, I decided to poke through my jewelry boxes. I found a cross and a St. Christopher's medal that I had long forgotten about. Both items are of importance to me, even though I am LDS. Generally, LDS folks "don't do" crosses. I never found this odd, until Paul the Catholic thought it so. Now, he tells me when he sees a cross, he thinks of me, and it gives him cause to laugh. I've tried to explain the whole LDS-cross thing...but I don't think he gets it. In my faith, we chose to dwell on the Resurrection, and not the Crucifixion. It's not that we think crosses are bad. It's a symbol of His death. While it is important that He died for our sins, it is also important to note the empty tomb and the fact that He rose and conquered death.

I've seen members wear crosses to church, and no one says anything if they notice it. When we see crosses, we don't go running in opposite direction with blood pouring out of our eyes. If a Mormon wears a cross, they are not damned to Hell and excommunicated from the church. That's the beauty of the LDS church. We are given the free agency to make these choices for ourselves. Isn't that the whole point of being here??

At any rate, the cross used to be my mother's (who is also LDS). I never asked where she got it from (perhaps I should). She gave it to me shortly after my Dad died. I guess she thought I needed it, and maybe I did. I remember after he died, that I felt very lost and confused. I wore the cross on a chain around my neck for a while. I took it off to wear something else, and just never put it back on. It just went into the jewelry box to be forgotten. This was over 11 years ago.

The St. Christopher's medal is another story. I was involved in a bad accident 5 years ago, which left me burned and blind. At the time, I worked with a lot of Catholic women. I loved those women as if they were my own family, and they stuck up for the mouthy Mormon girl when another nurse told me I was going to go to hell for what I believed in (she was Southern Baptist...shocking, I know). I didn't know a lot about the Catholic faith before I worked with these great ladies, but they schooled me. I respected them because they held fast to their beliefs, and respected me because I held to mine. Anyway, I was in this accident. One of my coworkers (Phyllis) went out and bought a St. Christopher's medal, and went to her priest to have it blessed. She told him, "It's for my Mormon friend." He thought it was an odd request, but did it anyway. Phyllis later presented me with this medal. She wanted me to have it so I would be safe when I went anywhere. Incidentally, St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers. I wore the medal for a long, long time. Do I believe in Patron Saints? Not really, but Phyllis believed in them, enough to go to the trouble of getting the medal, and having it blessed for a non-Catholic. It was important to her, and she had faith it would help me. Because of this, I wore the medal. It came off when I needed to wear a different necklace for my brother's wedding...and it too fell by the wayside of my jewelry box, to be forgotten.

So, now I have these two little silver pieces on one silver chain. I don't even know if you can put a cross and a saint medal on the same chain. These two little things are important to me because they were given to me by people I loved, in times when I was going through great struggle. Sometimes, you can find inspiration in the faith of others...and my cross and medal serve as a reminder of that.

In the darkest moments of my life, I am grateful that I had people who cared enough to share their light with me.

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