Key came home from a Boy Scout meeting at his church with a great idea. He had learned woodworking and knot tying skills and thought of a creative way to use both. He constructed a cross that his family displayed in their front yard to celebrate Easter. It wasn’t long before the neighbors and passersby took notice and Key received a number of compliments and inquiries from people who wanted a cross for their own yard. So began a small business, a great ministry and a perfect Easter reminder for all of us.
Key learned John 3:16 when he was a small boy and it became one of his favorite verses. The entire gospel message can be found in the words: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” In many ways the idea for Key’s crosses was born out of his understanding of that verse.
Key makes his crosses out of Western Red Cedar, a reminder of the sacrifice the cross represents. He learned a special rope lashing in Boy Scouts and the way the rope is wrapped around the wood is a reminder of what Jesus chose to endure for the sake of our salvation. The knots that are used represent the fact that Jesus died on a cross so that we could forever be joined with him in heaven – a tie that binds.
Key loves Jesus and that first cross was a statement of his faith. As his cross-making business began he also discovered another reason to build them. Key met Clayton Kershaw, a pitcher for the L.A. Dodgers, when his choir sang at the baseball player’s wedding. Later Key, who is a baseball player for the Highland Park Scots, heard Clayton speak at his church and became very interested in Kershaw’s “Mercy Street Field of Dreams Project.” Key decided that he would donate a portion of every cross he sold to that ministry.
Key said, “The Lord has blessed me in so many ways, I just wanted to be a blessing for others.” His favorite verse is Luke 10:27, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.” Key makes his crosses in three different sizes and sells them for: $15 for the 30″, $25 for the 44″, and $45 for the 60″. If you want to order you can order one here. Orders are currently limited to the United States.
This is an important week in our spiritual lives. Every year we observe the Lenten season so that we remember the price that Jesus paid to redeem us from this world into life eternal. Like Key, we know that we have been “blessed in so many ways.” Now, how can we follow this young man’s example and remember that we are to be a blessing to others as well?
I imagine you have plans for this Sunday, or will make plans. How can those plans include blessing another? There are so many people who would attend an Easter service, if someone who “knew the ropes” would take them. There are so many people who have a great deal, but are lacking God’s blessing of salvation. How might you share the story of the cross with someone who does not understand its significance? This week is a potent reminder of how much we are loved and how much love we have been given to share. Who will you bless this week with the blessings you have received?
I loved hearing about Key and the crosses he was inspired to build. I’m placing my order – and I have the good fortune of getting in line ahead of some of you! (Although…if I don’t get to use it until next Easter, I understand. I am a mom of two sons and I realize Key has school and baseball practice this week too.)
This is an important week. I pray that all of us will pay attention to the ways God might inspire us to use our gifts and talents for his glory. God loved us so much he gave us Jesus. Let’s live gratefully aware that we will never perish and will one day receive the gift of eternal life. And let’s share our Easter blessings with others.