Cross Doodles and Words

Jul 1, 2024

Besides doodling my prayers, I love to doodle just for fun. I have a sketchbook for TV Doodles--those random things I draw while watching TV or drinking coffee. I’ve noticed something lately; many of my doodles start with a cross. I’m not sure why. Is it an easy way to get started? (I can hardly mess up a cross; it’s just two lines) Is it a simple way to face my fear of an empty page? Or is a cross both a conscious and unconscious visual reminder to me of who I am and what I proclaim? Like wearing a cross or a dove necklace? Maybe it is all of those things.

My frequent drawing of a cross prompted me to meditate on the word. I opened my TV Doodle pad to a clean page and wrote CROSS in the middle. Then I binge-wrote everything that came to mind about the word CROSS–thoughts from everyday life, memories, feelings, definitions, stories, Scripture, hymns ….I wasn’t editing or trying to be spiritual. I just wanted to brainstorm and capture everything from the “cross” storage locker in my head. I love this process of “spelunking” because it lets me see how a single word can be so rich in meaning, and how a single word can be an invitation into prayer and conversation with God. CROSS is a concept full of paradox, both troubling and encouraging. Why don’t we choose a more user-friendly symbol for our faith?: a HEART–the summary of the Law is all about Love (Matthew 22:-37-40) OR a CAVE–the birth place of Jesus and the place from which he was resurrected OR maybe a FISH–So many stories are about fishermen and fishing for people. Spending time with the word CROSS does not resolve its contradictions but lets me see them and open my mind and heart to their complexity and fullness.

Here is my page of words about CROSS. If I brainstorm CROSS on another day, a whole new set of words might show up. In the same way that Scripture is new and fresh every morning, so is this time of pondering and prayer with God.

Some of my cross doodles are black and white; some have color. The cross bars might be straight perpendicular lines, but they also might be wavy, squiggly, or dancey. The arms are not always directly across from each other, but they are definitely crosses.

1 Comment

  1. Love these Sybil. Thanks for continuing to share in the journey!


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