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"Whosoever will come after me, let him  deny himself, and take up his cross, and  follow me."       Mark 8: 34    

"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, it's not an easy road…    

You mind if I look over these 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, you see, and if I could show them a comfortable cross I'm sure I could win a lot more.  Got to keep up with the population explosion and all.  And I need something durable so I can treasure it always. Oh, is there one that's sort of flat so it would fit under my coat?  One shouldn't be too obvious.    

Funny, there doesn't seem to be much choice here--just that rough wood.  I mean, that would 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 be just 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, but life has to have a balance too…now let's see, No blood, O.K.?  I just can't stand the thought of that, Lord… Lord?  Now where do you suppose He went?"

C. L. Sayer

The Padded Cross