The man, the cross and the shadow (1) Whose cross is that?

“You cannot be a hero without being a coward.” -Bernard Shaw

For many days I have been staring at the picture above and I must confess there is something haunting me about it. They say a problem shared is a problem solved (who said that anyway?) so I hope to share my haunt with you. Like I said, I will like to dwell on the man, his shadow and the cross though not necessarily in that order but then, how did we possibly get to having such a picture?

I surmise someone woke up with the intention of driving a message across. I surmise they wanted to be seen and heard, possibly. In view of the past occurrences I believe that the person sought a form of identity and possibly protection. That , in my view, came in the symbolic form of a cross. A brand new cross. A spanking new cross.

I believe the person , let us call him( I settle for him for all players in the image are male, which is a story for another day) the Bearer, is (or was?) a religious person who believed in the sanctity or at least the sacrilege or at least the defence ability of the cross.

The fact that the Bearer went out of his way to procure a cross for his intent is something we can write acres of pages about but let us fast forward to the picture. We have to dispense of the issues relating to where the Bearer lives , how he carried his cross to the picturing point etc and get to answering the question : Whose cross is that?

I respectfully submit that the cross does not belong to the shadow owner. The little I know about trajections and mensuration show that there is now way the shadow owner could have dropped (or placed?) the cross on the floor under his feet and strike the fleeing pose at the same time while avoiding what was pursuing him. So I know at least one person who the cross did not belong to and I choose to call him the Shadow Man.

I submit the owner of the cross is not in the picture but was definitely at some point somewhere around the photographing point. Maybe he was breathlessly watching the camera man at some hidden corner, but then that’s a maybe.

The Bearer would tell a tale about why he dropped the cross as I believe it was not his intention to place it on that ground. What cracks my head is why he let go of his shield and possibly his symbol of faith? Those in the know will tell us of the theory wherein one has to choose between options and I aver that whatever was facing the Bearer made him decide that his cross was optionally now a burden or was going to bring him troublesome attention that he was not wont to handle at that time and he chose to jettison it.

So, did the Bearer lose faith? Or courage? Or, did the cross let the Bearer down?

But then,I digress, whose cross is that?

My simple summation is that besides the people in the picture , the cross belongs to anyone of us not in the picture.

Is it your cross?

Could it be mine?

“Whoever does not persevere and carry his own cross and come after (follow) Me cannot be My disciple.”                   ‭‭Luke‬ ‭14:27‬ ‭AMP‬‬                                                                                                                                        http://bible.com/8/luk.14.27.amp

To be continued…….

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Cowards aren’t we ?

Cowards are said to be the yellow livered scamps that take flight at the slightest indication of fear or trouble. Their surmise is based on the understanding that if they flee trouble then trouble and its woes will give them a wide berth. How wrong.

In this life that I have lived on this earth I have learnt that running away from problems might defer their bite but like the proverbial demon, they always come back seven fold. I have learnt that postponing what I can do now is basically upping the price that I will eventually pay when I get the courage to do the avoided task.

Cowards are not the only people who pay the price for our cowardice. Even those we are supposed to reach out to , those we are supposed to free by apologising to , those that we are supposed to forgive etc., all suffer untold pain  because we are cowards scared of taking the bold steps and make things right.

At times we run miles , run up serious bills, cause irreparable damage when all we could have done is be courageous enough to eat humble pie and apologise. Instead we build legal facades, stonewall, hedge ourselves and build ourselves into an imploding summit that will eventually bury us.

At times we prefer to talk about people than with the people. We are so cowardly that we will go ten miles to discuss the woes of a neighbour whose ails just need our shoulder to cry on and a prayer to sooth their pain. And we boldly attest to being brave!! Cowards aren’t we?

We watch relationships die, marriages die and all we do is talk and gossip about what we see instead of walking across and sharing the pain and providing answers. We are scared of sitting down our troubled brothers but will rack up bills talking them down to our transatlantic kin. Cowards aren’t we?

We watch our friends die and we can’t offer to take them to a test station but we will gladly stand up to offer an obituary and tearfully and accurately state all the stages of their demise. We watch kin burrow themselves into alcohol and drugs and we marvel at how clean we are.

In this life I have lived I have learnt that one that will not speak to me about their concerns is a coward.  Life’s cowardry is drawn from the fear of facing ourselves. It is centered on the fear of rejection or repulse, but I rather be rejected and repulsed on the basis of a courageous truth than to be welcomed and adored for plastic and fake loyalty.

Cowardice and pretense do not only affect the actor but also the poor soul being misled.  Show me a man bold enough to bell the cat and I will show you a man who goes to bed with a clearer conscience.

Cowards. Aren’t we??