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Making Crosses

By: Ellen Morris Prewitt
Reviewed by: Delores Jordan
Paraclete Press, 2009
$16.99, Paperback

Ellen Morris Prewitt posits an intriguing concept: kinetic prayers. By using one’s creativity of discarded and rejected objects, one can make crosses and commune with God. "Cross making is an ongoing intentional process of making prayerful decisions," she writes. Her book is a testament to her philosophy. It is both a guide and a workbook.

Prewitt divides cross-making into three phases: reading aloud, meditation, and then making the cross. One can read Scripture, a poem, a prayer, or a journal entry aloud to set the moment. Next is the silence as one meditates on the collected discarded materials placed in front of the work area. Last comes the small voice of the Holy Spirit in choosing which items, how many, and where they will go to tell a story about oneself. In telling a story about oneself, God answers a question through cross-making.

Prewitt advocates cross-making in groups. Sharing the crosses is a vital part to understanding the stories, the answers, and even the questions. Often other people see things in the cross and complete the story, she writes.

The final victory in making crosses is to give the cross away. "Do with a cross what comes to you—it will be the right thing," Prewitt writes.

Her exception to using discarded things to make crosses is to use gifts from people who know you are making crosses. In doing this, Prewitt writes, “I love to see gifts embedded in a cross. It’s as if a piece of a person I love has become part of the cross. What once had belonged to them is now transformed. The people who give me their broken things tell me that knowing there’s a path that leads elsewhere than the garbage can comfort them when something is broken. It helps to know the thing once loved will be used in a cross.”

Normally, I would not have gone to the section of the bookstore to pick up a book like hers. A spiritual awakening happened when I was asked to read this book. I have been inspired to make crosses and to redefine my own spirituality and relationship with God. I highly recommend reading this book for a unique spiritual journey. Aug 2009

Delores Jordan is the author of "The Grinch Who Didn’t Steal Christmas" in Christmas Is a Season! 2008. Her book In and Out of Madness is forthcoming.

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