Sure, we can wear a physical cross (or any other religious piece of jewelry) to show our faith. In fact, I love such items. They show the world that you are proud of your faith and serve as a reminder to yourself to put God first. But at the moment, I would like to focus on a more metaphorical reference to "wearing a cross."
You can wear a cross simply by being your true self. Transparency is risky. By opening yourself up, you invite not only closer relationships, but also criticism. You can be a walking reminder of Christ!!! In doing so, you could inspire others to strengthen their relationship with God. Or you could be mocked. Facing criticism...well that is a cross we must bear.
I assure you that the benefits of transparency far outweigh the possible backlash.
Quite recently, transparency changed my life. I discovered that I had friends that would talk with me about faith. I can't believe that this now amazing part of our friendship had been missing for two years! I remember when I first opened up to one friend.
I was driving her home and had the navigator programmed---navigating is a weak point of mine. Instead of going north, I went south. I kept ignoring the navigator, thinking it was at fault instead of me. Once we reached downtown, we realized that I messed up. We wandered all over unfamiliar parts of the city. I learned to trust my navigator over my instincts. As we spent much time trying to get back on course, the topic of faith came up. My friend was a devout Catholic! I had known her since freshman year and we never really brought up religion. Well, we talked and talked and talked about faith and God and everything. And then, to top it all off, we saw this:
|God checking in on us during the drive. I have|
absolutely no idea where this picture was taken.
Everything happens for a reason. There was a reason I got lost. And now, I thank God for this drive every time this friend and I go to Mass or talk about God. This experience came to me at a crucial part in my faith journey. It gave me courage to open up more and more, something that aided my spiritual growth (and something I'm working on even now). It taught me to share my faith, even when I'm hesitant. It helped me develop more faith-filled friendships with amazing people. Yes, I've been laughed at. It's not the best feeling in the world. Actually, it really doesn't feel good at all. But then I remember that drive and I know in my heart that this transparency is worth it.
When we open ourselves up and let our faith show, sure, we can be mocked. BUT...there is also the possibility for the most wonderful discoveries.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Don't hide your faith. YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. Stand up and stand out as a beacon of light for all you meet.