Marty & Lisette
St. Petersburg, FL
The Oneness Cross
On the first visit to make crosses I was not sure what to expect. My wife Lisette thought it would be a good idea to go so, trusting her, I went. I was a little concerned I would be the only guy and that made me a little anxious. Well as it turned out, I WAS the only guy but the team there quickly made me feel welcomed and not uncomfortable. After getting a quick how-to-do-it lesson, I was on my way to making crosses. It seemed that just after a few crosses, I stepped into a peaceful place and was able to just rest. No distractions, no anxiousness just peace. Going, trusting and allowing God to let me rest, focusing on the cross, was an oasis in the midst of a storm.
The next month, I could hardly wait to go again, seeking that peace that He allowed me to have once again. I surprised Lisette with a date night to go make crosses. Once again I was the only man there, but only for a little while. Soon Jacob and Ashley (newly wed friends) were there and soon after that a handful of guys, dads, husbands, boyfriends and brothers.
It was good to see a mix of people there. I was soon focused and started creating different crosses. You can’t help but think of many things as you create different crosses. Cutting out different shapes out of the flattened clay reminded me of making cookies, so of course, I made a Cookie Monster cross. Sounds a bit weird but some one will love it and it will truly have meaning for them. As we went on, I was reminded of the storms in our lives and wanted to create something that was an expression of how firmly my bond with my God and my wife is. So, I took the foundation of a cross and in the middle of the cross, I formed a heart, (God’s love for us). Out of the shape of the heart I formed two people, a man and a woman, facing each other, of the same heart, within the foundation of the cross. Especially in this difficult season of my life, Jesus came through once again and reminded me of His strength, His design and His glorious artistic ability that He had created when He designed our marriage. The evening was done and the cross was to the kiln to be fired. What a peaceful evening.
Watching God work through Marty this night brought my heart so much renewed hope. It has been a rough journey through these past few months as he heals from a concussion. My heart was brought to worship as I witnessed the peace of God come over Marty as he smoothed off the rough edges, just like the Lord does in our lives as he molds us. As I worked along side him on other crosses, I wondered what the Lord was creating through him. To see how tenderly He led Marty to create the heart to be a man and a woman embracing was a beautiful reminder of how God continues to mold us into one and how tenderly he IS holding us through this time. I was reminder that oneness is still a process even after 27 years of marriage.
Two months later, I was able to go help with crosses again. You just never know what surprises the Lord has planned for you! Several of the ladies on the team excitedly said “We set aside your husbands cross for you to paint!” My first response was that I just couldn’t. It wasn’t just because I hadn’t painted before but this was my husband’s. Then the Lord sat me down next to a lady who was painting the dragonfly cross I’d been lead to create a couple of months ago. It was fun to watch the Lord add color to this cross as she painted. I was inspired! Tammy and others kept encouraging me as I started to paint other crosses setting the “Oneness Cross” aside. Other seasoned painters shared about their first time painting, gave advice and witnessed about what God had taught them through the different stages of making crosses. By the end of the night, I was ready to step out in faith and paint the “Oneness Cross”. As I painted I was reminded of how God has shaped us throughout our marriage. And how he’s sent older wiser women to encourage me and show me how to be a godly woman, wife and mom. Couples who encourage, share milestones and have come along side us in the fun and tough stuff. By the time I got home I was ready to share with my man about the cross and what the Lord was speaking to my heart. I began to get excited for the recipients that would one day receive this cross.
The next month when I returned I was once again greeted enthusiastically by the team saying, “Go see Elizabeth!” Then Elizabeth excitedly brought me over to where she had set aside the finished “Oneness Cross”. It had just come out of the kiln that day! And had been numbered and seeded. It took me a minute to realize Elizabeth wasn’t just showing the cross to me, she was giving it to us! Immediately my heart was overwhelmed once again by our Heavenly Father’s lavish love for us. For me the gift had been getting to watch the Lord work through my husband and reveal His healing in his life. And the lessons he had shown me through the process. All of a sudden I knew exactly who this cross was for.
How exciting it was to see the finished cross! And it’s even more exciting to see how God used a few evenings of shaping and painting clay to remind us both of the holy covenant of our marriage and the blessing of God the Potter Himself molding us every step of the way! Joy in all the good times, the strength for all the difficult times and the eyes to see His hand in it all. We can’t wait to pass this cross on to a sweet couple we get to mentor as they enter their covenant of marriage, Joseph and Ashley, our “favs”!
To get to share what The Lord has done in our marriage as He continues to bind us together as one in Him is beyond humbling.