The cross that had hung on the church wall just above the arch at the rear of the chancel was taken down on a Monday evening. The Church Council had voted for its removal in order for a screen that was part of the coming multi-media worship to be installed.
The cross had been given by an old family of the church. Only one member of the family still attended. She was in her eighties and when the parson approached her, thinking this would be a delicate matter to bring up, she quickly volunteered that it was about time the church caught up with the times.
The cross had been built by her brother. It was a wooden construction with lights inside to illuminate the frosted glass front. The Church Council had voted to have the cross weather proofed and asked Ms. Parson if she would replace the frosted glass with stained glass. She had quickly agreed. Then, the council had decided, the cross would be affixed to the outside wall of the church just above the front porch entry. A light sensor would be installed so the stained glass would be illuminated at night.
On Tuesday the parson carried the cross to one of the members to weather proof and make alterations to receive the stained glass. On Wednesday the electrician met with the parson to plan for the installation of the power source and the light sensor. On Thursday the parson met with a member who was a contractor to discuss the actual placement of the cross on the outside wall.
On Friday the parson went hiking in the National Forest.
On Saturday the parson cut the grass.
On Sunday, following the morning worship. Jeffery Gordon, the member who had been recruited to weather proof the cross, called to the parson as he stood in the parking lot in front of the church.
Pointing to the wall above the point of the porch, he said, “That’s where you’re going to put the cross?”
“Yes, right up there. We’ve got everything arranged. There’s going to be a light sensor so ....”
“You can’t put it there.”
“I beg your pardon.”
“You can’t put it there.”
“What are you talking about? All this has been approved by the council, Jeff.”
“I don’t care who approved it. If you put it there it’s going to cover up that rock in the center.”
The parson turned and looked at the wall. “What rock?”
“That one there in the center just above the point of the porch roof.”
“Well, I sure can’t argue with that, Jeff. It’s going to cover up that rock.”
“That rock was personally picked out by Uncle Robert Rawlings, one of the charter members of the church. He selected that one because it looks like an open Bible.”
The parson looked back at the wall. “It looks like a rock, Jeff.”
“It looks like an open Bible, Parson. Uncle Robert picked it out. We cannot cover up that rock. It would hurt his family’s feelings.”
“Yes, his family.”
“How many of Robert Rawling’s descendants attend this church now, Jeff.”
“That’s not the point, Parson.”
“What’s the point?”
“The point is people are going to be mad.”
“Do these people have names?”
“I’m one of them, Parson.”
“Okay, you’re mad.”
“You don’t care that I’m mad?”
“Jeff,” said the parson as he placed his hand on Jeff’s shoulder, “I care a lot that you’re mad. But you usually get mad when we try to change things. I’m deeply concerned that you’re mad. And I’m going to pray you’ll get over it.”
“But you’re going to have that cross put there on top of Uncle Robert’s rock anyway.”
“That’s a promise, Jeff.”