Thy Kingdom Come – Jenny’s prayer blog
Thy Kingdom Come- Jenny’s blog
A couple of months ago we went to Cambridge to visit one of my best friends. While we were there, in a small museum, I found a beautiful thing. The Trumpington Cross is tiny- only 3.5cms across, it is shiny and intricate and if you look closely, quite imperfect, but very beautiful. It was found in 2011, in the grave of a young woman who was between 14 and 18 when she died, 1,300 years ago.
I kept thinking about this story; who was the girl? Why did she die? Why did they bury her with this cross instead of selling it (if they were poor) or keeping it for her family or the church? As I thought about it more and more and imagined what might have been, I started turning it over in my mind.
It is totally extravagant. It would have cost a fortune, but a teenage girl had it, and then was buried with it. Part of me thinks that that is madness, but extravagance is not necessarily a bad thing. A God who made the world in such a way that every snowflake forms a unique pattern must be pretty extravagant, too.
We don’t know how the girl died, but I would imagine that she probably felt afraid and alone while facing her own mortality. I image her wanting to have this cross near her. Not because it would stop anything, or that it has magical powers, but that it might provide comfort in knowing that she was not on her own, really.
I imagine her holding it tightly, clinging on to her God, and it feels like she is part of a whole history of Saints who have wrestled; who still do, with questions, doubts, pain, suffering, faith, and God. This can seem quite lonely for us all at times, until we realise that many, many people have done so before, and many will after we are gone. Thinking like this makes me feel part of something way, way beyond just myself.
When we think about prayer, it can be easy for a lot of ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ to spring into our minds. Finding this cross and seeing how extravagant and beautiful it is has helped me to realise that it might be possible for prayer to be both more straightforward and basic, and also more unique and interesting, than I might have thought of it before.
Written by Jenny