Take up your cross
And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them: “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
My question to be answered with the help of a tarot card is: “What does it mean for me, having read this passage, to take up my cross and follow Jesus?”
I have pulled my card from the Golden Tarot of the Tsar, and I received Queen of Wands.
During the last half year, and maybe longer, one of my students pulled The Queen of Wands over and over. It was the cat her eye was drawn at, and she was scared of cats. She pulled this card so often, that at one time we decided to use my cards instead of hers, for her Queen of Wands seemed a bit bent. Of course she pulled the Queen of Wands again from my deck. We learned during those months that she needed that cat, its senses could protect her. Seeing the hand of the woman raised like a shield on the card that I have pulled, as if in defence protecting herself, my thoughts went immediately to that guarding cat.
Following Jesus is something of which I am scared. Questions arise: “What will be left of me, of my own will and my desires, if I do that?” I do not think there will be very much left of that. On the one hand I hate that and I do not want that. On the other hand, leaving behind my will and desires is also something very tempting. If my life is centred around Christ, then it is not about me any more, and I would have not to care so much about my ego, my narcistic self and about my pride being hurt. That all falls away.
That is something what would protect me, like the cat that guards the RWS’ Queen of Wands. Not thinking about myself any more would shield me from a lot of worries and sorrows about my ego. Taking up my cross and following Jesus is something very liberating, seen in that perspective.
Sculpture: Ed Babcock, Take Up Your Cross.