Last summer Randall took a few weeks of Sabbatical leave from work. (in addition to summer holidays and a couple weeks of study leave) In the middle of June, a few weeks before Sabbatical was due to start, the Church surprised us with the trip of a lifetime.
They sent us to Iona, Scottland.
And it was amazing.
The thing was, though, that for most of the first week I felt like a tag-along. I really felt like it was Randall's trip and I was just along for the ride.
Then one afternoon, probably the 4th or 5th day in, I picked up a book in the Abbey gift shop called "101 Celtic Crosses". Having done a few Celtic crosses in clay, I thought this would be a great book to bring home for inspiration.
I started leafing through it, and came across the exact picture of the cross I had made for Randall's Christmas gift, about 8 months before.
It was called "the Iona cross". A modern cross, used to represent the Isle of Iona.
I got goosebumps and nearly wept.
It really seemed like God was telling me, that afternoon, that even before the thought of that trip had been conceived, God was planning it; and it wasn't just for Randall, it was for me too.
When we got home, and as summer turned to autumn, I decided that it would be cool to make a larger version of the Iona cross as a gift for the church. To say thank you to everyone for contributing to our trip, and as a reminder of God's grace and provision in all our lives.
So, I got started.
The original plan was to have it ready for the Christmas Eve service, but it wasn't done by then.
I picked it up this week, and after a bit of a touch-up with a permanent gold marker, I brought it to Church and presented it to the Church Chair. Person. Not an actual chair.
It turned out pretty well. About 18 inches long, I think. (I also think it looks a little better in the pictures than it did in person, but what do I know?!)
A cool story, that Iona cross.
A very cool story.