The Craftsman of the Cross

When we toured our house in Arizona for the first time, I knew it was meant for us because it had the most spectacular view looking out to the mountains and the perfect spot to put a large, solid wooden Crucifix that grounded our home. Soon after we moved in, we had the coveted display nook set with a woven grass wallpaper in Marian blue.

Finding the perfect Crucifix was the next step to inviting Jesus into our home.

We found a beautiful hand crafted large olive wood one from the Holy Land that arrived within a couple weeks. The Cross was perfect and came with a proud message from the craftsman, “I am most appreciative of your purchase of my work. Our olive wood crafts provide livelihood for us. May it bless your home.”

Displayed between the entry to our home and our master bedroom, Christ watches over our comings and goings. I love that we have this constant reminder in our presence that draws us into the mystery of Christ’s life.  I can spend much time in contemplation admiring the craftsmanship thinking about how the Master Craftsman guided the hands of the craftsman as he chiseled the tiniest details of Christ’s beard and toenails, and saddened closed eyes, and the nails in His hands and feet. The scrolled “INRI”- “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews”  hangs on a solid wooden spike, but looks like new parchment with a detailed trim- this announcement, this Crucifix is worth proclaiming with newness. Grains of sand from the olive wood tree grounds where Jesus walked are encapsulated at the bottom of the Crucifix.

Every word of the Bible is emboldened in this visual grace.

I kneel in Eucharistic Adoration letting Christ guide my heart to craft these words. Centered in the host is a Cross. I know encountering Christ through this Eucharistic moment is the same story that He calls me to when I meditate at the foot of the Crucifix at home. I read Mother Teresa’s meditation on “The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery-The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus on the Cross.” She writes,

“Jesus opened His arms on the Cross as a perpetual sign of how He welcomes us with divine enthusiasm in this Sacrament of Love, where He always waits for us with open arms to embrace us with His powerful grace and transforming mercy.”

Throughout the day passing the Cross, I am reminded that He always invites me into His embrace.

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Teri Nisser

Teri Nisser

Teri is an “avant-garde” hound of the Lord or more easily stated, a lay Dominican. She and her husband Dan have endeavored new adventures across the US and abroad throughout their 26 years of marriage with their three amazing almost adult children.

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