At the centre of the first photo two thicket branches intersect in a slightly crazed cross. Once you start looking for it, the cross becomes ubiquitous, at times intruding uninvited, other times we are the ones who look for it and see it.
Dr Sheila Cassidy during her time working in the Plymouth Hospice, saw the cross in window frames, door panels, ward furnishings, floor patterns.
The second photo is a close-up detail from the same thicket. The moss, lichen and flaking bark have their own poignant beauty of life holding on, just.
"When we look at Jesus Christ crucified and risen, the revelation of God it makes to us is this: God is redeeming love, in the power of omnipotence; or God is omnipotent power in the service of redeeming love."
These words are from unpublished papers of James Denney. Along with P T Forsyth and H R Mackintosh, he comprises a trinity of Scottish theologians of the cross, whose shared emphasis on atonement, reconciliation and forgiveness would provide the theological cantus firmus of much otherwise pragmatic contemporary missional thinking.
It's time too, that we Christians recovered a living faith in the cross as the core fuel of the Gospel, and the source of the Church's energy. The ubiquity of the sign of the cross, (it's thgere if we look for it) is a recurring call to followers of Jesus to embody lives of contradicted consumerism, of witness by embarrassing contrast and of selfishness crucified and resurrected into the generosity of grace.