Listening to last night’s Nightsounds, there was a segment on the short story The Padded Cross.
Well, here I am, Lord. You said, “Take up your cross,” and I’m here to do it. It’s not easy, you know, this self-denial thing. I mean to go through with it though, yes sir. I’ll bet you wish more people were willing to be disciples like me. I’ve counted the cost and surrendered my life, and …well…
You mind if I look over the crosses? I’d kind of like a new one. I’m not fussy, you understand, but a disciple has to be relevant these days. I was wondering, are there any that are vinyl padded? I’m thinking of attracting others, see, and if I could show them a comfortable cross I’m sure I could win a lot more. We have to keep up with the times. Right? And I need something durable so I can treasure it always. Oh, and do you have one that’s sort of flat so it will fit under my coat? We shouldn’t be too obvious.
Funny, there doesn’t seem to be much choice here. Just course, rough wood, that’s liable to hurt. Don’t you have something more distinctive, Lord? I can tell you right now, none of my friends are going to be impressed by this shoddy workmanship! They’ll think I’m a nut or something! And my family will just be mortified!
What’s that? It’s either one of these or forget the whole thing?
But Lord, I want to be your disciple! I mean, just being with you…that’s all that counts. Life has to have a balance too, but You don’t understand, nobody lives that way today. Who’s going to be attracted by this self-denial bit? I mean, I want to do what’s right but let’s not overdo it. If I appear too radical they’ll have me off to the funny farm or something.
I mean, being a disciple is challenging and exciting and I want to do it, but I do have some rights, don’t I? Now let’s see — no blood — O.K.? I just can’t stand the thought of that, Lord Lord? LORD? Jesus?
Now, where do you suppose He went?
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24, ESV