The Footsteps of Truth
Starting our walk at Santa Monica Pier was difficult. Not physically difficult, since it was cooler and the terrain was hardly difficult. The pier itself is a beautiful place with an amazing view that gives testament to God’s majesty. The difficulty lay in the knowledge that Santa Monica is in the middle of LA, and the dread that many people might react with outright hostility to the message that was to be silently witnessed. There still remains dread in the thought of bearing whatever hostility might occur in that same silence, and in the fear of public humiliation. None of these things occurred at the time of our walk around the pier, but the thought that Jesus Himself bore all these things and worse in His journey to the cross became a resolution of courage, a conviction that whether we walk together or separately, we never walk alone, because we walk with Him, in Truth.
Along the way we’ve met our own Monica, who gave the Lord a moment of respite as he went on His arduous journey. Our Monica was two-fold, and went by the names Vivian and Paul. They did more for us than wipe our faces, generously offering us room in their house over the weekend, food during the course of our stay, and rides to Mass. The food was delicious, but the true beauty of the visit lay in the companionship offered by someone outside of our journey and the reassurance that there are others who walk with us in spirit.
This feeling of appreciation and encouragement has been repeated many times by the countless others who’ve given in prayers, finances, and support. There are those who come up to us when we’re shopping for groceries to point out the butter we can’t find and thank us for our witness, the ones who recognize our shirts without being told and applaud our efforts (politically correct or not), and the many people who’ve seen us walking in the heat of the day and stopped to offer us help and water. These people always leave with our thanks and our prayers for their generosity.
One highway patrol who saw a team walking stopped to check that they were all right and when he was told of the purpose of the group, made sure to show his support by taking pictures of the team with his cruiser and the awe-inspiring backdrop of the Mojave desert and mountains. He also encouraged the team by giving us a goal for the end of our shift—about three miles up the road there was a beautiful blue-green view of the Colorado River travelling through an aqueduct to L.A. The sight inspired us at the end of our day and left us with an awe for God’s creation and gratitude for the officer He sent our way to give us a boost when our energy was flagging.
The journey we have undertaken in no way compares to the physical, emotional, and psychological torment He bore on His last journey, but there remains a certain amount of joy in the thought that we are walking in His footsteps… the footsteps of Truth. In spite of the heat and the blisters and the irritation, we embrace the small crosses He gave us today, which He has mercifully mixed with inspiring adventures, and look forward to those of tomorrow.