In the picture above, I am standing next to one of my creations, a hawk on a cross that is a part of a Labrynth at Second Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. Why of all things would I put a hawk on a cross?
The top of the steeple at this particular church has a cross. One Spring, a pair of hawks who nested in a tall oak tree near the steeple, would use that cross as a launching point to dive bomb their prey. We witnessed a decline of squirrels during that year as the hawks claimed their prize from the cross.
If you stand at the beginning of the prayer walk where my hawk and cross are installed, the hawk faces you. I think it asks us a question: “What do you do with this cross that I use to gain an advantage on the prey I’m pursuing?”
I write this post on what is supposed to be “the day that The Lord has made!” 116 million Americans will suffer with chronic pain on “the day that The Lord has made” and not darken the doors of buildings that claim such due to a difficult access and pews so hard that our forefathers created them thusly hoping to prevent attenders from falling asleep due to dull sermons. (They also needed men with long poles that stood at the back of the church to gently nudge a snoozer back awake should they fall comatose during the reverends dull sermon!)
By all accounts, 80% of America will not darken the doors of the church that proclaims “this is the day that The Lord has made” of which I will be but one. As one who suffers from chronic pain, who lives life an hour, sometimes a minute at a time, I ask today the same question my hawk asks: to what advantage or lack thereof do you/me/us use the cross, the symbol of pain, suffering, and redemption?