Have you ever wondered why people wear a cross? Have you thought about why you wear a cross? What is your motivation? My motivation is simple. It opens a door for conversation. It allows people to know that I am a Christian, and to ask me questions. It allows me to reach people whom I may not have been able to reach otherwise.
I want to tell you a story, it's just a short one, and it never would have happened had I not been wearing a cross. I was in Alexandria, Egypt. I was in the spice market searching in every little shop for ground saffron. It's an Egyptian saffron that's delicious in rice, and anything else that you can think of. It is kind of hard to find because most people just carry the saffron threads, and this is a mix of ground saffron and other spices. The Egyptians were very kind to us, and there was one young man running all over trying to find it in any of the stalls, of which there were probably a hundred or more. David and I kept walking to different stalls, and we finally came to a very small enclosed store. Now, let me remind you we are in Egypt, in a very Muslim area, most of the women were wearing burkas. I on the other hand had on a dress with short sleeves, and the dress only came to my knees. I saw a woman come out of the store, and she was not wearing a burka, which to an American is not a big deal, the burka, is what I was noticing, not someone not wearing a burka. Anyway, to go on with the story this woman comes out of the store in regular clothes with a scarf over her hair. That should have been my first clue, that something was different here. She was the store owners wife.
I entered the store, and this store had the ground saffron that I was looking for. This was the only store in the whole spice market with ground saffron. I was very excited. The gentleman who owned the store was helping me, and he was very sweet and kind. After a while he saw the cross around my neck, and he asked if I was a Christian, and I answered "yes". He got very excited and said that he was a Christian also. I thanked God for taking me to this little shop. For allowing me to share with this man that he was not all alone. That God was with him bringing people to his little spice shop. It also signaled to me that God was leading me to where He wanted me to be. I just needed to follow. That the only Christian in the area shopping, found the only Christian store owner in the area, with the product that I was looking for. God is good. Now, I was a baby Christian back then, and not very bold, so I did not ask if he wanted me to pray with him, but I did praise God aloud for bringing me into his store. To this day, I still say thank you God, thank you Jesus. Now, when that kind of thing happens I do ask people if they want me to pray with them.
I am rarely in Muslim countries, but my cross opens up dialogs everywhere. It gives people the freedom to ask me questions about Christianity, to tell me that they are sick, have cancer, back pain, that they are alcoholics or drug addicts, and it gives me the opportunity to pray with them and for them. I want God to help me to be bold in sharing His word, and wearing a cross allows me to reach people I would not normally be able to reach. I praise God daily that I am being put into the lives of so many different people and to make a difference. He told us to take up our cross and follow Him. I am trying to do that daily.
Here are some verses that I found and I wanted to share them with all of you.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."
Have a blessed week.