The Cross

Tears glistened in Vera’s eyes as she fingered a little cross hanging from her neck. The cross was made of pure sterling silver, and reflected the light shining from the stained-glass window. It was one of her most prized possessions, and for a good reason.

Vera had just been baptized, and was still kneeling before the pulpit with her head bowed. She shed tears of joy of giving her life to her Savior, but there were also tears of mourning. Wishing the person who led to Christ could be there, she thought back to that tragic day…

~*~

“Wh-where am I?” Nevaeh whispered.

“Shhh…” Vera replied in a soothing voice. “You’re in the hospital.”

“Hospital? Why?”

Vera sighed. Ever since the car accident, Nevaeh was constantly forgetting where she was. Vera had to remind her every time she woke up.

“Nevermind.” Nevaeh said again, voice straining. “Vera, I remember. All my memories are returning to me.”

“Really?” Vera exclaimed. “That’s wonderful!”

“It is! But Vera, I…” Nevaeh struggled to breath, “I… I’m going to die soon. Very soon. I won’t be around here… on earth… much longer.”

Her words pierced Vera’s heart like a flaming arrow.

“Nevaeh! Shush! Don’t say that! Of course you’re not going to die!” Vera replied— more to assure herself than her friend. She felt tears spring into her eyes as she bent over to hug Nevaeh.

Nevaeh shook her head. “No Vera… I know I’m going to die. I’m go…go… going to go back home to my Father. Listen to me Vera.” She coughed. “I’m older than you by a few years, but we have been… been like sisters since we were children. Now, I-I want to give you this gift in remembrance of the great times we’ve had together.”

Vera opened her hand to accept the object. It was a tiny silver cross on a cord. Her mouth dropped open. “Why Nevaeh! This is your most precious possession!”

“The dead have no treasures, but what reward they receive when they go to Heaven.” Nevaeh said. “Take a closer look at the cross. The vertical bar is me, since I’m older and therefore taller than you. The horizontal bar is you, being the younger and smaller one. Despite our age difference, though, we crossed each other’s path of life and are now connected as… as… as sisters.” Her voice faltered for a moment. “There is more significance to this necklace, but you’ll have to find out what it is on your own. It is a journey worth taking.” Nevaeh coughed. “Goodbye Vera!”

All of a sudden Vera felt like she was in a daze. She didn’t notice the others as they entered and exited the room. She didn’t even know what to make of her friend’s last words to her.

~*~

For several years now Vera struggled with Nevaeh’s absence and final words. She never quite understood what the “more meaning to the cross” part meant. However, she still treasured it as the most precious thing she owned; a memoir of her best friend.

But now, at her baptism, she understands what those words mean. Not only did their paths cross, as Nevaeh described, but formed a cross, a symbol of Christianity and the death of Christ that bounded all believers together. She remembered that Nevaeh had always been passionate about her Lord, and a joy surrounded her that made her already attractive face even more beautiful. Even on her death bed, she had tried to break through to Vera.

Vera once more remembered the persistence of her friend, the meaning of her words, and her God-given joy, wisdom and passion.

But best of all, she saw the cross upon which her Savior died, and the love behind it all…

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