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The Balsa Wood Cross

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

Guy R. Brewer, D. Min, Ph. D Emeritus Professor of Pastoral Theology

Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry

Photo: Melissa Fretwell

The defendant hangs condemned though he committed no crime

Except ridiculous claims of forgiveness and life beyond time

Loving his enemies who ridicule and whine: his words make no sense!

They’re too busy to open their minds or their hearts

Too hurt by the Body and its dysfunctional parts

Too sick of salvation with freckles and warts

Convinced his words are insipid moss

Growing on the north side of that balsa wood cross.

A balsa wood cross is too soft and too frail

Yet he remains hanging by choice more than nails

As the crowd laughs at love that has failed.

They want a savior with guts and ambition

Who lives up to their expectations

Not some messiah who’s hope is now lost

Hanging there lifeless

On the balsa wood cross.

Unless the corn dies it remains just a seed

That never produces the hundred-fold yield

Of life that defies death’s certain end

Life that will flourish as its tendrils extend

Roots that run deep in the soil of the soul

Nourished by blood that was lost

From the wounds of the man

On the balsa wood cross.


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