The Cross: 38,102 Miles. 38 Years. 1 Mission.
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (8/09)
“The Cross” is the story of Arthur Blessitt’s personal spiritual journey in a pilgrimage to answer what he considered God’s call to carry a cross from Hollywood, California across America to Washington, D.C.
Subsequently Blessitt has traveled around the world carrying a twelve-foot cross to 315 nations and island groups, on all seven continents. He began this adventure in America and his most recent walk, in June 2008, ended his 38,102 mile mission in Zanzibar.
Arthur might be compared to a modern-day John the Baptist, a voice crying in the wilderness, physically carrying the cross to illustrate the cross as a spiritual symbol, bringing the message of hope and salvation, in a demonstration of God’s love for man by sending His son Jesus to die for their sin.
I felt the excitement and expectancy of following Jesus, as I figuratively stood with Arthur in the shadow of the cross, as I read of how he followed God’s lead one step at a time. His adventure is a reminder to the reader of the words of Jesus in Mark 8:34, “If any man would come after me, he must deny himself and follow me.” Every reader must experience individually what it means to deny self and willingly follow Jesus.
Pages from Arthur’s journal reveal his complete dependence on God, of his intimacy with God, and of his spirit of dedication and determination. I personally liked the format of the book. Each chapter begins with an entry from Arthur’s journal and included remarkable photos which aide the reader in visualizing various aspects of Arthur’s journey, his family, other team members, and the thousands of people he has reached out to in nearly forty years of ministry. Arthur also included some practical pointers on “How to Share Jesus in Our Complex World.”
Whether walking alone with no one to applaud him, addressing cheering throngs, or being arrested and thrown into jail Arthur has followed God’s call on his life. He tells of sharing Christ with Buddhists in Japan, Hindus in India, Muslims in Egypt, and with Jews in Israel. Arthur exemplifies what it means to be an authentic, radical Christian in the world today.
Blessitt writes to encourage the reader to focus on Jesus and to remain faithful to their unique calling. “The Cross” is a reminder to every Christian that we are pilgrims on a spiritual journey, following the footsteps of Jesus, sharing His love, joy, and salvation globally.