There is a patch behind the country church with its split rail fence, there beside the quiet of the woods, where heaven meets earth and I stand there in the early morning still. Clouds, gray and swelling with spring, loll over. Brown leaves, fall's remnant left behind by winter just gone, lay wet underfoot. Only the sound of water trickling off the water mill there in the pond meanders up through the trees, asking me if I want to fall down too. I think that is why I came.

Tentative, I step closer and let my hand feel the weathered wood, wet from last night's rain, of that Cross that grows out of the earth back here. An Old Rugged Cross.

Fingertips brush the moss that clings to the grooved grain, new life out of that which died. Without fanfare, velvet moss pulls up over the crossbeam's nakedness. It's just two lengths of lumber. tree long dead, I know, but where it takes me, to the intersection of history, of humanity and its Maker, of my sin and His mercy, that is the holiness that hushes me, bringing me low.

I press my forehead against the wood, leaning, It holds. And that verse from past week's memory work slips up unannounced,

"In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him" (1 John 4:9 NKJV).

But to live through Him. Like oxygen.
Not only know Him. Not only be saved by Him, reborn and washed. But to live through Him. Like oxygen.

Daily, I count gifts, numbering how He loves, and yet it's here at the Cross He drives the stake into the ground, nails His devotion over humanity: "In this the love of God was manifested toward us ...."

The common blessings I experience daily only extend the Crossbeam of Calvary into my everyday, leading me along the Love that supports the cosmos.

I inhale this place. Today, to live through Him, on this, the beam of blessing unending.