PEOPLE THINK HE’S NUTS, AN IDIOT, A RELIGIOUS FANATIC, but 64-year-old Steve Epp doesn’t care because God called him to take up his cross, put some wheels at the base and walk along the southern route from Wilmington, North Carolina, to San Diego, California.
But why would he do such a thing? Isn’t that a little odd given this post-modern, anti-Christian era?
In 2014 Arthur Hollands did it because “I just want to share that people are loved, and you can have peace in your heart.”
In 2015 Mitchell Manning carried a 12-foot cross from Florida to California as a way to represent his faith because “the cross is the whole point.”
But the most famous cross carrier of all, (besides Jesus), was Arthur Blessit, who began his cross walk in 1969 and still continues to this day. He has been in 324 countries and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the “Longest Around-the-World Ongoing Pilgrimage/Walk.”
In the same tradition Steve Epp hefts his cross behind him because he wants to remind people of the hope that is found in Jesus for a hurting, lost world. “I’m reaching out to the younger generation who’ve experienced drug abuse, home abuse. I took to the street because they are sure not coming to our churches.”
Steve explains that it’s only Jesus Christ who can redeem them, and that many young people wonder how Christianity applies to them. “I speak a lot about grace. I tell them that God loves them and I love them, but it’s the Holy Spirit who draws them. I want to show that living for Jesus is a life of surrender, and I’m trying to show them that by example.”
Indeed, Jesus says that “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.” What that means is, when you give your life to God by trusting in His Son for forgiveness of sins, your life is His. You must be willing to do anything, go anywhere, suffer any loss for His sake. That is the cost of eternal life. But the promise in the here and now is this: Jesus says that he is with you always, even to the very end of the age. God will be your friend, not your enemy. He will change your life, your desires. He will give you a heart of love. You will be a new creation.
“I see people coming to Christ,” Steve excitedly explains. “All races—black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Indian—come together at the cross.”
Check out his Facebook page at TheWellTulsa.
Photo Credits: CLJNews.com, Blessit.com