Rawge's Collection of Cross Photographs and Art
at TheCrossWeb.com

One day, the Sunday-school teacher at our little church (he was also the Head Pastor, Associate pastor, Youth Pastor, church grounds keeper, and our  little town's only plumber - it was a really small church!), told us kids that he had a glow-in-the-dark plastic cross that he would give to the first kid to memorize the books of the Bible and the 23rd Psalm. Of course I was bound and determined to get that beautiful cross!

I started working at it on the drive back to our farm and continued to study those words at every waking moment. I worked on it 'till late at night, on school recess and lunch, and all the way home on the long bus ride. I worked so hard that I had it all committed to memory in just a few days. I begged my Mom to take me to the Pastor's house during the week because I was worried that some other kid might beat me to it. My Mom wasn't about to bother the busy pastor in the middle of the week and she assured me there was little chance of someone usurping my opportunity. 

On Sunday morning I raced into the little Sunday-school room and announced that I was ready to recite the Books and 23rd Psalm and claim the glowing cross. The pastor was a little startled that someone was ready to try it the first week, but he game me a shot. I never missed a word and left there that day with the little plastic cross. 

As soon as I got home, I drove a nail in the wall above my bed and hung the little cross on the white wall. I closed my curtains and door to make the room as dark as it could get. The Pastor was right - it glowed in the dark! The only problem was that the glow didn't last long. I quickly figured out that I could take it down and lay it across the top of my lamp-shade to "re-charge". For the next few weeks, I alternately moved it from the wall to the lampshade and back to watch it glow. 

I had a wonderful time with the cross until one fateful day. Before I went out to play, I had quickly placed the cross in the usual position on the lampshade. I had just put in a new 100-watt lightbulb to replace the old 60-watt bulb, so I was sure the cross would have an especially bright glow when I returned. After a few hours of playing around our farm, I returned to my room to retrieve the cross. 

Apparently the new bulb was a little warmer than the old bulb and the cross had melted enough to fall through the lampshade. I screamed in horror at the sight of my once beautiful jade-colored cross melted into a smoking black glob and dripping from the hot light-bulb. I  burst into tears and fell to my knees just as my panicked Mom ran into the room. I am sure that from my scream and wailing, she must have thought I had just cut my arm off or broken my neck in some playroom acrobatics. She grabbed me up into her arms and was yelling, "What's wrong? What's wrong?"

"I melted the Cross!",  I screamed as the big tears rolled off my face. I cried with the weight of someone that had just committed a terrible sin and was surely destined to spend eternity in hell. My Mom got a bit of a smile on her face and the relief of knowing I still had all my limbs. She held me tight for a minute or so. After my sobbing slowed down, she sat me down and talked about the cross. She explained to me that the melted cross was just a piece of plastic and that the hope and salvation that it symbolized was all that mattered.

The story has stuck with me for almost 40 years and so has my interest in the cross. I managed to locate a person that had some of these old crosses after all these years and I bought all she had. I love giving them away to children and I hope they will inspire them as it did for me.

Click here to see some of my cross photographs.