The derelict cross

Over the years I have accumulated dozens of crosses. I purchased quite a few of them myself, such as the crudely poured brass cross I bought from a young girl in Ethiopia, or the small golden one I found in a shop in East Jerusalem. Others have been gifts.

When I attended the Niobrara Convocation, a gathering of Lakota people in South Dakota, I admired the distinctive cross worn by members of that body. Made from stamped nickel, each cross hung from an elaborately beaded necklace that incorporated the red, white and blue shield of the Episcopal Church. Noting my covetousness, a native woman lifted her cross off her neck and placed it around mine. “You take it,” she said. “I’m not even sure I believe in it anymore.”


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