Thursday, December 8, 2011
‘Take up your cross and follow me’
By SUE WATSON
It is said a thousand-mile journey begins with the first step.
For Roy Scott, he could be on a 3,000-mile walk across America. He logged his 1,020th mile in Holly Springs November 15, drawing smiles and sometimes suspicious glances from local residents.
What is unusual about Scott’s walk from ocean to ocean is that he is dragging a 13-foot cross made of 6x8-inch redwood beams. He calls it the Jesus Cross, and it is changing his life every step of the way with the help of his driver, God.
The cross is mounted on a wheel and attached to it are some items containing some essentials covered by waterproof canvas, including snacks and water.
Also, people along his journey, which began in Augusta, Ga., five months ago, have signed their names on the cross to encourage Scott on his way along U.S. 78. His intention is to stay on 78 to Memphis, then get on I-40 and head toward the general direction of Albuquerque. He may stop in Arizona where he lived for a while and visit relatives or friends there and expects to end his journey in San Diego, Calif.
Scott’s story is chronicled over the Internet as he meets people along the way and they join his Facebook page to see where he’s been and what people are saying about his unusual walk for God. Along the way, he is joined by news media that run pictures and tell his story for him. Scott’s aim is to “shed his story and his pain” as he walks across America.
His son was killed in an accident when the young child was 4. Scott said his son walked behind a land grader he was operating and was killed in June 1997. The accident and loss of his son were so traumatic, that he “lost his mind,” he said.
After the accident, Scott suffered business losses and sank into depression and anger.
He joined the Arizona National Guard Infantry hoping to be deployed and get shot and killed, ending his suffering and panic attacks. But God offered another solution.
Scott was released from the Guard after about three years. An Arizonian by birth, he had moved to Georgia when in his senior year in high school.
“God told me to carry it ocean to ocean,” Scott said of his travel plans or walking papers. “He said, ‘Look, I can fix you.’ ”
Three hundred miles into the walk, God said, “The problem you take with you. It will be a process of shedding the guilt and remorse.”
Scott said the best part of his walk across America has been the people who come up to the cross and get saved.
“A woman was going to hit a pillar under an overpass to commit suicide,” Scott related. “She said, ‘God, if you’re real, give me a sign.’ She looked up and saw me. There’s hundreds of stories on this walk. I fought this walk and fought this walk.
“It’s strictly for Jesus. God knows what He’s doing in fulfilling this. I have an inner peace.
The inner peace came as Scott walked across Alabama, he said.
He said as he thought about where his walk would take him, he thought about Albuquerque or Flagstaff.
“God told me, ‘What are you making the map for? I am the one driving this car,’” he said. “I believe God is totally true in what He said, and about when this is all over. He’s using me now for great things – the most important job I have ever had.”
Now 47, Scott said some of his family think he’s crazy for making this trip.
He left on his trip with 75 cents and the good people have fed and watered him the whole way. But in the beginning it was scary, he said.
“Not everybody is nice,” he added.
Sometimes he and his cross have drawn stares or honks but others have stopped and offered encouragement, provided food, water, whatever he needs.
He said he does not like to walk but walk he must. And sometimes on very difficult sides of the road when the cross is heavy and hard to pull, Scott sometimes feels as if someone is behind him, pushing him forward. As he walks, his faith in God increases.
“It’s going as it’s going and I am supposed to keep walking,” he told one reporter.
And his post-traumatic stress disorder is under control. He suffered from nightmares and panic attacks daily, until he picked up his cross.
“It’s like my panic is shedding as I walk,” he said. “I can’t explain it.”
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