I was on a long crosswalk from the top of France through Spain to Lisbon. I crossed the border from Spain on the main highway from Madrid to Lisbon, Portugal.
It was early December and much of the time it was cold and rainy. My family was with me in a VW van including my children, Gina, Joel, Joy and Joshua.
My son, Joel walked with me through Elvas and we had a great witness there. Then I walked on toward Lisbon passing through Estremoz, Arraiolose and Setubal. Often one of my children was walking with the cross and me.
One afternoon as I was carrying the 12-foot cross along the road, I saw a very thin old lady coming toward me with a big pot balanced on her head. It was a heavy load. Just at that moment a tour bus passed me, the brake lights came on and the bus stopped. Immediately the tourists began to pour out of the bus, their cameras surrounding the old lady. I thought, “Surely these aren’t Christians on tour.” But sure enough, someone spotted me with the cross and in seconds they were running toward me, getting their cameras ready to take pictures.
“Gee, you’re Arthur Blessitt, aren’t you the man with the cross. Isn’t that wonderful. This is the highlight of our trip. Can you believe it? Oh, these will be wonderful to show people back home.”
I said, “Just a minute. I’m not just another slide for your Christian slide show in your living room back home.” They were shocked.
“You met that poor old lady with a heavy load on her head. You didn’t give her a prayer, you didn’t give her a Bible, you didn’t give her a gospel tract, you didn’t give her a penny of money, and no one offered to lift her load. All you did was stand around and photograph her. I don’t know what brand of Christianity you are, but whatever it is I’m on the opposite side. Whatever brand you are, I’m not.
We haven’t been called to go around the world photographing the world. We’ve been called by Jesus to go into the world and preach the gospel to every person. To care for the naked, the hungry, to visit the sick and those in prison, to be friends. Photographing the world and doing nothing for God. Touring the world with Bibles in your pockets, having devotions at the hotel while the world around you is hungry and lost and on the road to hell!” This is an abomination!
At last I carried the cross into Lisbon. The response was wonderful and many people prayed to receive Jesus and follow Him.
I had completed walking with the cross from Dieppe, France to Paris to Madrid, Spain and now to Lisbon. I had started this walk in July and it was now mid-December.
Jesus did it. What a glorious walk with the cross.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt