Displaying crosses is simply way to share good news

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, November 9, 2011

As most folks who have an email address know, you can easily get into the habit of reading and forwarding emails that may be funny, cute, interesting and even a few that are really important; some can also be very crude and/or offensive.

However, while I do appreciate the expedience of staying in touch with family, friends and a few professional contacts (269 as of this writing), my experience has been that the vast majority of emails, I could have lived without AND saved an hour or two every day had I not had to sort the ‘wheat from the chaff’.

This note is not to complain about the chaff, it is about thanking a friend, and so many other willing folks, who are responding just as I did to a specific mass forwarded email.

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Just over a year ago, I had the occasion to read an email from a friend entitled “Wouldn’t this be a great thing to do!” After reading the story, I emailed my friend, Opal Spears, former Scioto County Commissioner, a sincere thank you for including me.

I also sent that email along to all my contacts. But more importantly, the content of the email motivated my wife Janet and me to leave the computer for a while, stand up, and share the good news!

This noteworthy email was an account of a community’s united effort to let a disgruntled atheist know that the vast majority of the community are Christians.

It was reported that the complainant had recently moved to town and did not like the two crosses he saw on one of the city’s bridges. He complained and the city officials removed the crosses. The atheist was thereby emboldened and submitted another demand that the city change its logo containing a heart with a cross, stemming from the town founders’ Lutheran heritage.

When learning of another complaint, community members chose to “take up their own cross”; literally! It wasn’t long till many of the city’s lawns were publically displaying small white crosses. Reportedly, the atheist stood down.

Some of you may have noticed a few of the 100 or so white crosses now displayed in Ironton lawns and businesses (as a direct result of one forwarded email).

You may have also noticed several others across Lawrence County, as well as in Ashland and Flatwoods, in Huntington and other Tri-State communities.

You will also find a few 24”x 12” white crosses on your way to, and as you travel in, Fla. (where we vacation). To date, 2,614 crosses have been ‘manufactured’ in our garage and basement. Nearly 2,000 have been planted in Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Illinois and even Colorado! Each cross is labeled with two verses from the Holy Bible.

The face reads: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14)

On the back side of each cross, we are encouraged by: (Matthew 10:32) “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.”

This ‘Letter to the Editor’ is to sincerely thank each of you who have said yes to ‘taking up your own cross’(Whether or not you are displaying a cross in your lawn). “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)

Thank you for saying yes to Christ and thank you for serving in whatever mission you are drawn to support. Thank you for sharing the good news with others — regardless of those who complain.

And, I sincerely thank each of the local businesses who have agreed to put cross displays inside their place of business: Bartram’s, Coal Grove Food Fair, South Point Food Fair, The Barker Shop, The Mustard Seed, Printing Express, Tri-State Upholstery, Weber’s Florist, Ink-ina-Blink and Pick-N-Save; and to the Ironton Tribune for their original coverage: see “Vol 2010 No. 246.”

I apologize for not knocking on every door in Ironton. However, should you be interested in “planting a cross as a way to share the good news and to encourage others,” or setting up a retail display, you can find “the rest of the story” and contact information at: www.crosscampaign.com

Oh, and thank You Jesus, for saying yes to God’s plan – for our salvation! (Luke 22:42)

And, may God continue to bless our communities, and the USA!


Dan Hieronimus