A Balancing Act?

In the Catholic cathedral in Antwerp you will find a statue of a man balancing a cross. The description of the artwork speaks of the need to balance faith with the world.

When you look at this statue, what do you see?

Does it remind you of the old-time entertainer, spinning plates on the top of poles, running from one to the other to keep them from falling and crashing on the floor? I feel for the Christian who works so desperately, doing good deeds, following all the rules, desperately needing to feel worthy of God’s grace. It must be exhausting and discouraging, because plates do fall.

Or is this bronze man adoring the cross, bearing its burden with ease, glorying in it? Is he extending it for all to see? To him the cross is no burden, it’s the symbol of life conquering death, freedom from condemnation.

If I were to reconstruct this statue, I’d have the man embracing the cross as someone might embrace a child. The cross as a symbol of the depth of Christ’s love for me. Carrying it daily is not a balancing act. It’s a privilege. Carrying my cross is how I identify myself with the One who paid my debt, adopted me into the family, and promises me a glorious future.

When you look at this statue, what do you see?

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Bethany Den Boer

Christian Children's Author and Speaker

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