People wonder why I like Mt. Davidson, since I do not attend church.
San Francisco is about God: inspiring vistas, great churches, mystical
light, dreamy fog. It is natural to put a symbol of faith on a hill.
Mt. Davidson is a challenge for us to rise above ourselves. The
bridges are beautiful, but they are not intended to make us revere
God. Sutro Tower is imposing, but it does not represent God or
connecting with others. It symbolizes isolation, ugliness,
The cross on Mt. Davidson is not beautiful. From a distance
it is impressive. It is cumbersome up close, especially in fog.
If feels and looks ugly. There is not a sense of God’s
gracefulness and warmth.
Those who constructed the cross were not showing their
love for God, but imposing their ideal of God from afar.
They succeeded. The cross inpires me when I lust and
wonder over the hills and ocean.
The cross is not about commerce or commercial
communication. As we communicate more poorly
personally, the cross can inspire us to communicate with
God in our loneliness, to thank Him for the beauty of our
city and ask Him for courage to make our city a city of
beautiful, trusting, curious, spontaneous people.
The cross was raised to stand out from a distance. The
intention is similar to skyscrapers, which were
constructed to look good in a photograph, but were also
intentionally constructed to be ugly up close and feel
lousy to work in.
There is one Mt. Davidson, but many tall buildings.
We must ask ourselves if we want to keep distant
from each other as we do everything we can to make
a good impression on each other. If we don’t, we can
be inspired by the cross standing alone in the wind
and fog. Can we stand tall with our arms
outstretched as we are at a crossroads of our life?
Can we spread our arms, surrender ourselves to God,
accept who we are and who everyone else is?
Christianity was established to deal with the
isolation of a commercial and military world. Our
city embraces business. Our country embraces the
military. We need imagination and faith to admit we
need this cross as the world becomes more chaotic,
as our civilization faces a crossroad, as we realize
we live in a police state, as our jobs are not secure
and we will stand at a crossroad several times.
Business will create more isolation and
heartbreak. The military and police will be more
In the sleepy murky mystical avenues is the
cross that boldly says God can save us. Let us
thank God for Mt. Davidson and the religious
imagination. Let us rise from our fog,
dazzling and tremendous as the sun.
Copyright © 2023 by David Vaszko