Years ago, as a friend was skating near New York’s City Hall, he found a rail spike. When we met next, he gave me the spike while telling me that he had a strong sense that I was supposed to do something with it.
At the time, I was a banker with a fledgling interest in expressing my thoughts through art. As I picked up the spike, I knew I was going to do something with it. I carefully sketched out my ideas. I paused and reflected on the options. I could sense the pull to get going in the studio yet I resisted, wanting my plans to have purpose and intent. After a period of time, I was ready. I knew what I needed to do! I was ready to give birth to my thoughts and vision.
Everything started out as I had anticipated. Within minutes I realized that something wonderfully strange was underway. Whatever I had planned was secondary to what was in the moment. Something was appearing that I did not imagine or anticipate. I had no idea what was happening yet I knew it was what I needed to say.
What emerged was a 3D stick figure with hands raised in celebration or defiance. In the center of the chest was a hole. The figure could be laid flat or left standing. In the horizontal position, the spike stood by resting in the heart. When vertical, the spike could lay across the raised arms.
Friendship always comes with a choice. We can take on another’s burdens as we celebrate life together. We can triumph over Evil’s arrows, defiantly holding onto hope. Our friendship choice will have a price; “It does make a difference if you hurt your friend terribly, risking his eternal ruin! When you hurt your friend, you hurt Christ. A free meal here and there isn’t worth it at the cost of even one of these “weak ones.”” (1 Corinthians 8.12) What we do for others and ourselves is the cost of living. May today be worthy of our sacrifice.