One man is bearing quite the load as he crosses the country hoping to spread a message.
Acie Burleson started his journey across America carrying a 45 pound cross in Andrews, South Carolina, in March. His hope is to spread a message he said God gave him and that message is to pray and be ready for the coming of Christ.
Burleson said he is a walking memorial for Jesus. He has done short walks carrying a cross during his life, but crossing the country to reach the Grand Canyon is a new feat and his plan didn’t come with all cheers.
“I got some that were like that’s awesome go do it and I had some say you are crazy all kinds of stuff,” Burleson said. “Very encouraging. My wife was there the day God called me to be a walking memorial. She knows that this is what God called me to do. My children, the oldest definitely understands the younger ones may not so much.”
Burleson said one of the most memorable moments of his journey happened on his way to Wichita Falls from Nocona when a woman driving on saw him walking on the side of the road and pulled over for a conversation.
“She stops and starts crying and says ‘my sister has weeks to live with cancer’ and I said ‘let’s pray,'” Burleson said. “She gets out of the car and we pray together. She said ‘you have no idea how much I needed you today.’ It blew me away because yesterday I did not want to walk.”
Burleson walks about 15 miles each day, and that takes a toll on his body.
“The shoulders take a beating,” Burleson said. “And recently for the very first time, I have a blister on my foot. So I am taking it easy.”
While Burleson has been sharing his message, he said he has seen the kindness of so many people.
“I used to have a one-man tent on the back of my cross and since I left on March 11 I have never used not one time,” Burleson said. “Someone has always offered to take me into their home. Somebody has bought me a motel room or gave me the funds for a motel room.”
Burleson is about halfway to the Grand Canyon from where he started in South Carolina and he will continue until he reaches his destination with the strength of his faith.
Burleson said he is going to leave Wichita Falls Thursday. He isn’t sure what path he is taking just yet, though he is trying to find roads with wide shoulders and towns that are pretty close together.