What the cost? I thought.
People were gathered on the street corner as I made my way to the library. I forged a path through the crowd to find a sight I’d never seen before, a man slowly pulling a crude wooden cross down the side of the street.
I watched as the man adjusted the weight of the cross that rested on a strip of sheepskin to prevent blisters on his back and shoulder. The cross had wheels but it was obvious it was heavy, causing the man to bend low. The weather was hot and humid and, with the crowd pressing in, he must have felt like he was in a steam bath.
I remember reading in the paper that the man was attempting to walk from city to city across the United States with the goal of witnessing how Jesus Christ had set him free of drug addiction. I wondered when I read the article if his effort would be effective as a witnessing tool.
My walk to the library paralleled the man with the cross’s walk. I stopped at one point as the man witnessed to a young person who looked to be in his late teens. The cross-bearer, Lee, told the young man of his deliverance from drugs and how his life now was rich and satisfying. He explained to the young man that he was on a mission to help others with addictions and to share how Christ had helped him turn his life around. I heard Lee quote the plan of salvation to the man and saw that man became a follower of Christ.
Lee then said that on his decision to do the walk his friends asked him not to do so. They said he would be ridiculed and possibly persecuted.
I heard Lee say that he told them, “If that is the cost to witness of my Savior’s deliverance from my drug addition then I gladly will bear the ridicule.”
When I came to the library I watched as Lee and the small group walked on down the side of the road. I stopped and prayed for Lee. I prayed for receptive hearts and spirits as he shared his story.
Stooping at a bench at the library’s entrance, I thought about if I would be willing to do something as daring as Lee’s mission. I asked the Lord to give me boldness in my witnessing. I believe there are different costs for us all as we serve the Lord, but oh the joy that awaits us as we hear Him say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 NIV