Last week at church, I looked at the program and saw that we would be singing The Old Rugged cross. This was one of mom’s favorite church songs. It made her cry EVERYTIME we sang it. It got to the point that if we saw it on the program, we would do an inward groan because we hated to see her cry. I think there were some occasions that she went ahead and left the auditorium when they were ready to sing that song! I never understood why it made her cry so much. I certainly do now. It finally got me. As I sat there in church last week, I felt what I could only assume was the same feelings she would get when that song came on. I was just about to lose hold of my emotions when dad leaned over and said “your mother would be bawling at this point.” It made me laugh at the memory and the moment of emotion passed. Mom would always laugh at herself when it came to her losing her own emotions during that song.
Now when I hear that song, I think of her clinging to the cross. A friend of hers gave her a wooden cross when she was diagnosed. She held it quite often. Joseph (my second brother) told us that early on he walked into her room one afternoon and she was asleep on the bed gripping that cross. Almost clinging to it. Clinging to His healing power. Clinging to her faith. Clinging to hope. During her last few weeks, dad brought that cross from home so that she could hold something in her hand to keep it from curling up. It was perfect. It was what she would have wanted if she could have requested something. So she clung to that cross, with her Bible underneath as well. And we ALL found ourselves clinging to Him. These past three months, I have found myself reaching for Him more than ever. I have questioned my faith. I have questioned Him. I have questioned His will. And he answers me in His own way and I am reassured. So I will cling to the cross just as mom did, for “that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
has a wondrous attraction for me”
Mom took her last breath clinging to that old rugged cross and she certainly exchanged it for her crown.
“So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
and exchange it some day for a crown.”