Gifts of the Cross
By Nancy Hylton of Seattle, WA, USA
Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit and you shall have peace in me. —Doctrine and Covenants 18:2n
One Sunday in a class at church we discussed the meaning of the cross and how it tells us of “suffering love.” As I pondered the first question, the words “sacrifice”, “hope”, and “freedom” came to me. At that moment, those words helped me understand “suffering love.” The class discussion was rich and thought-provoking.
It was a stormy and rainy morning in Seattle. However, there was a beautiful quietness and sense of peace within the sanctuary. The speaker shared about the nature of love as an “action word,” and we moved into a time of confession and the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
Our church sanctuary has a prominent stained-glass cross at the front, which often becomes a focal point for me as I sit in worship. That morning as we knelt for the communion prayer on the bread, the sun suddenly shone through the cross and gently warmed my face and hands. It reminded me of our previous class discussion and provided a wonderful sense of peace and wonder in those moments.
The light was blindingly bright in our eyes, so my husband used his program folder to shield his eyes. I sat in wonder, joy, and thanksgiving—taking in every ray of light coming from the cross. Slowly it dimmed, but the peace remained. As the sacrament continued, I gently turned my attention to the side windows to see the rhythmic movement of the trees blown by forceful winds.
Some might say, “What an interesting coincidence.” But for us that morning, it was a gift of affirmation, given in love for us to share, as the Spirit moves me now to share. God offers many sacred affirmations to us every day. They are often quiet and humble, and we often miss them if we preoccupy ourselves with the busyness of life. God, help us be open this day to the Sacredness of Creation around and in us.
Prayer for Peace
Affirming God, help us open our hearts to see and feel assured of your intentional creativity. May we always be aware of your peaceful presence.
Spiritual Practice: Caring for God’s Sacred Creation
Choose a way to notice, give thanks, and care for God’s sacred creation. Prayerfully consider one of the following practices or create your own. Walk in nature with a spirit of gratitude. Look and listen for God in all Creation. Learn about and engage in an act of Earth-keeping such as recycling, simple living, or fasting from over-consumption of resources. Notice the diversity of the planet’s creatures and be gentle to plants, animals, trees, and people! Fall in love with the vast, intricate wonder of God’s creation and give thanks.
Today, God, I will share one of your quiet affirmations, in case someone else did not notice.