The Sign of the Cross


I wrote this little blurb for myself about two years ago. (My aforementioned soon to be teenage son was then ten years old).  Sorry, it’s outdated, but still true.

        As I tucked my ten-year-old son in to bed last night, he did a weird thing. With closed eyes and sleepy limbs he seemed to wave his hands over his stomach and chest before he pulled the covers up. There was something very deliberate about it though and it took me a minute to figure out what he was doing. I stood and stared for a minute before I asked him,

“Do you do that every night?”          

“Yes,” he replied. “I always do that. It helps me feel safe.”         

It seems that my most profound moments with this child are when he is half asleep. This is the same boy who sat and talked to God at the foot of his bed when he was yet in diapers. And last night, he did something so simple yet so subconsciously that I wondered how often and how long he had been doing it.  It is apparently part of his bedtime ritual, performed with the fog of sleep closing in, yet so meaningful to him.          

He was crossing himself. Making the sign of the cross over his body to protect him from harm and notify the world that he is the child of God.           

When will I be so entrenched in my relationship with Jesus, that even in my sleep I invite him to be with me? When will it be second nature to me to call out to him, rather than a last resort when all my attempts otherwise fail?            

When will I ever learn?


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. timglass
    Mar 10, 2008 @ 10:43:21

    The things we can learn from our kids, huh? 🙂

    Blessings to you,


  2. beinganddoing
    Mar 10, 2008 @ 12:49:59

    What a precious and life-giving way to call upon God’s blessing! I wish that Protestants would not be so fearful of this physical form of prayer. For some strange reason blessing has come upon just about any other form of physical involvement in prayer or worship except this one that has endured for nearly 2000 years.

    People close their eyes, raise their hands, dance, kneel or whatever, but making the sign of the cross can garner you strange looks and suspicious thoughts.

    Perhaps it comes from watching too many baseball players making the sign of the cross before going up to bat and assuming it to be a meaningless religious gesture. But more likely it has to do with making sure the line between “those Catholics” and Protestant Christianity remains entrenched (never mind the hundreds of millions of Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans and so many more for whom this sign remains a profound way of praying).

    But I ramble…or rant. So I’ll stop for now. Thanks for sharing.




  3. timbob
    Mar 12, 2008 @ 10:04:02

    Pure childlike faith; priceless, and yet “required” of us all. Great observation.

    Have a blessed day in Jesus.



  4. UTO
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 16:09:12

    This is wonderful! Children are God’s way of saying profound things.


  5. David Jerry
    May 20, 2008 @ 22:52:55

    Halelujah, your son is making a sign of the cross. It’s one of the oldest practice in Christendom. It is full of power. The devil will run away from the sign of the cross. I am an evangelical, but right now I am making a sign of the cross over myself. (David Jerry, Indonesia)


  6. Robert Kurtz
    May 21, 2008 @ 08:27:05

    This story reminded me of a tea party I recently had with my 5-year-old daughter. As we knelt at the small table on the living room floor sipping out of doll-size cups and nibbling on wafers, just as I was thinking, “This feels like communion,” she reached across the table, traced the sign of the cross on my forehead with her thumb, and intoned, “The Spirit knows you, and God the Father.” Forget ‘feels like;’ at that moment it became communion.


  7. David
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 12:23:45

    Wow, that is awesome. Just another example of we (adults) are called to be child-like in our faith…



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