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Walking in Pharaoh’s Footsteps

July 22, 2013

His college classmates knew him as Kent, his Crossroads friends knew him as Pharaoh, but I remember him best as Andrew.  No matter what name we knew him by, we all loved him just the same.

I met him last summer…summer of 2012…when I walked on Crossroads for a week.  It was still the beginning of the Crossroads journey…only the second week…when I walked through the Nevada desert with the group…and, most importantly, with Andrew.  Almost every mile I walked was with him; almost every Rosary I prayed was with him.  He kept me going when I felt like I couldn’t take another step.  His spiritual strength was what strengthened me.  He inspired me, and he is part of the reason I’m walking this year.

I only knew Andrew for a week, but I feel like I knew him forever because he did not hide who he was.  He was humble, he was kind, he loved God, he was always praying, he fought for an end to abortion through his prayers and his quiet, loving witness.  Most importantly, he was himself…and he touched the lives of many, including me.

When I found out about his death, I hesitated in coming back to Crossroads, but after only two weeks of hesitation, I applied for this year’s walk…because of him.  Andrew is one of the reasons I am walking this year.  I have always wanted to do this…ever since I was a little girl in 5th or 6th grade.  The Crossroads central walk goes right through my home town and the walkers have stopped to talk at our church every year for 18 years.  As soon as I was old enough to remember them and to realize what they were doing, I have wanted to join them.  This year was my chance to go all the way, but still, I hesitated because of Andrew’s death.

Yet I knew deep down that he would want me to walk again and that he would not want these walks to end because of him.  He wouldn’t want them to end until abortion ends.  I felt called to walk in his footsteps, so I applied again.

All these things and more came to mind this past week, while we walked through the area that I have both been looking forward to and dreading at the same time…the area where Andrew walked his last night on this earth. I am overwhelmed to think about where we just finished walking…to know that I have just walked part of his last shift on Crossroads.  I am honored to be here at this moment.

In the short time I knew Andrew, he inspired me to want to be a better person.  Since his death and during this walk, I have changed for the better.  My heart was touched by Andrew as so many others were.  What a wonderful gift to have known him.

May his soul continue to walk with us for the remainder of our journey.

I love you, Andrew.  I miss you, Andrew.  Thank you, Andrew, for changing my life.

Laura Shurtliff

One Comment leave one →
  1. vanda lattie permalink
    July 22, 2013 8:06 pm

    Just beautiful, Laura. Crying as I read your post…never met Andrew but in my heart know what a very special person he was….God Bless you and all your team….
    Miss Vanda

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