A Cross to Bear

by Karen Topakian

They say that the Lord works in mysterious ways. And she surely must when she told 33-year-old Joshua Sarhan to carry a 40-pound cross across America. The ex-Marine totes it on his shoulder while telling people the good news about the Gospel.

Starting on Feb 17 in Arkansas, he has already crossed eight state lines with many more to go as he heads up the East Coast.

Of course he has a FaceBook page. Take Up His Cross, with more than 1,700 followers.

Joshua is not alone, however.

Keith Wheeler has been carrying his cross around the world for the last 25 years visiting more than 185 countries on all seven continents. 

Arthur Blessit spent 40 years carrying his cross more than 38,000 miles. 

Evangelist Joel Crompton carries a 10 ft cross as part of his street ministries.

Tom Alexander has carried his 10 ft cross through more than 100 cities in California though his sports a wheel from a movable fence. 

All of these people said that God told them to do this. That their lives changed for the better as a result. Giving up addictions and party boy behaviors. Turning away from a life of crime.

The cross helped them become better people, they say. It encouraged them to pray for and help others.

Not being a religious person on any level, I find this behavior to be quite curious. 

It surely raises a few questions.

If the Romans had more sophisticated means of capital punishment, like lethal injections, would these devout men be carrying needles around with them instead? Would it have the same impact?

Not meaning any disrespect but what possesses people do such things? And how do they know that it’s god talking to them?

Anybody have any insight into this behavior?  I am truly curious.