Christianity / Cross / cross we carry / Divine grace / God / loss / Uncategorized

These miles we’ve walked and the cross we carry

HOPE for today

It’s May Day. The sun rises and spring’s arrival brings light. Some of our legs have carried us over some long hard winters.

The ground we’ve walked has bruised our soles and etched our souls. Like years that callous our feet, these miles have put deep cracks in our hearts. Like cracked pots that leak water, we leak life and grace.

And hope abounds.

Today I think of my beautiful stepmother, Kimi. I think back on cold nights warmed by her grace while baking Christmas cookies, and spring evenings watching her tend her garden from which she collected flowers to deliver to everyone special on May Day. She wasn’t immune to hardship, but she kept walking and those deep grace filled cracks leaked over us grace, hope, love and watered our souls.

A few years ago as I’m driving on route to the San Francisco International airport I receive a call from my dad who lives in Washington State.

“She’s in the hospital,” he says. “They think it might be tuburculosis.”

A few days pass. I receive another call.

“She’s no longer quarantined. The doctors have found cancer. We can’t find the source. We think it may be lymphoma. They say this is the easiest cancer to treat,” he says with a hopeful tone.

A few days pass.

“They found the source of cancer. She’s been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.” {silent pause}

Pray for us,” he whispers as he weeps.


Four months later we bury this wonderful woman, my stepmother, Kimi. A daughter and son lose a mother, a husband loses a wife, sister and brother lose their sibling and a mother and father bury their oldest daughter.

At the funeral I hold back tears until I watch her wonderful father carry her ashes down the aisle, and I can’t hold back anymore. I sob. I watch him walk and don’t know how a man can carry strength like that. How does a parent bury their child? Or a daughter her mother way too young?

These aisles we’ve walked, the burdens we’ve carried, they’ve etched our soles and enlarged our souls.

We keep walking.

I haven’t buried a child, I haven’t felt the pain of friends I know who’ve lost spouses or lost marriages to infidelity or children to drugs. I’ve walked my own miles and so have you. Some have walked longer and harder roads than others, but we’ve gone miles that no one else can walk with loads that no one else can carry.

And we look back at these miles we’ve walked and they’ve changed us.

We can choose to look behind at the path we’ve walked and become bitter and hard or we can lean on His grace and faithfulness because while bad things happen, He is always good.

Yes, our lives feel cracked, some with deep pain, but new hope arises. The Son breaks through the darkness, dawn appears and spring comes. He mends us with His grace and we bloom.

And now we carry this Cross.

This cross is not self denial or sacrifice. It isn’t a burden that weighs us down. The miles may have been heavy, but the cross is not.

This cross is Jesus and everything we’ve ever needed as He’s carried us through every long, hard or blistery mile, every road marked with pain or joy and every mountain we’ve overcome.

This cross we carry has held us because He is Jesus.

And if we let Him, the Cross shines grace, healing, love, life, hope and redemption through our lives into a broken world. We carry a Cross with the power to shine light and life to dark corners of wounded hearts with the redeeming power of His name and the miles He walked, the tears He cried and the blood He shed.

Our story illuminates a path we’ve walked that others will pass by in their darkest hour groping for a hand to hold. And like cracked pots filled with wet soil, these cracks in our lives through our own long hard miles are filled by the grace of God and leak living water to quench parched lives, mends broken hearts and brings light to dark places.

Yes, we carry this Cross, the light of the world, that breaks the power of darkness.

The definition of “May“: expressing possibility. Why not let today be the day that grace leaks and light shines through you?

Happy May Day.

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light of the world

Photo credit 5


20 thoughts on “These miles we’ve walked and the cross we carry

  1. Pingback: May Day is Lei Day – at least in Hawaii | 10th Samaritan Ministry

  2. Wow we write alike. I just love to connect with like minds and all for Him. I just wrote a guest piece for that was all about the Light being just enough for our path. Coming through the cracks. Love how His is the same no matter whom He speaks it through.
    May God bless you as you write for Him.
    – Heather

  3. Hi Kristen!

    This was a beautiful read and I can identify so deeply. My father passed away from non-Hodgkins Lymphona 3 years ago, at the young age of 48. I had just celebrated my 28 birthday 2 days before he passed , and I definitely thought it was much too soon. But as you wrote “The Son breaks through the darkness, dawn appears and spring comes. He mends us with His grace and we bloom.” He did and does mend, and even with the heartbreak of losing my dad, came the greatest joy…he accepted Christ as His Lord and Savior 6 weeks before he died! Every day is truly a new blessing with the Lord. 🙂

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