The Bullet and the Cross

One of the most unusual gifts I received this Christmas was a tiny cross that had been fashioned out of a bullet. I didn't know this at first, but I was drawn to this little cross immediately and placed it in a prominent place in my meditation and practice space.

I asked my friend Kelly Cleveland, who had gotten it in Liberia while visiting a mission there, to tell me about its origins.

She has graciously permitted me to share her thoughts surrounding this beautiful gift:

"The little copper cross I gave you
has amazing grace written all over it.

If you turn it upside down and look at the bottom
you will notice it is a shell casing from a bullet.
It is from Liberia. During the last civil war,
the bullets were so thick on the road
that the people were able to scoop them up
by the bucket full.

The little bullet tells it all.

Within it is contained all the pain, fear, guilt, sin, greed, hate,
and murder that the people experienced -
and then the freedom, forgiveness, love, friendship,
and amazing grace that ensued afterwards.
Such a little gift with SO much meaning.

Through the darkest of night
the stars will shine the brightest."

When I held this little cross, I felt all of the latter things that Kelly described - the love and grace - and none of the former things - for what that small bullet had been fashioned into - redeemed all of what it had originally been intended as.

I rejoiced that instead of ending someone's life - this bullet ended as a cross - shining light into darkened corners.

Let us all, during this Sacred Season, think of all of those who still live in strife. Let us pray for them, and give thanks for the many blessings we all experience in our lives.


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