There is a place in California that looks like the Sahara Desert, it stretches into Arizona in the southern part of both states. Not only does it look like the Sahara, it feels like it too. It’s a stretch of the most unforgiving desert I’ve seen. If and when I have to drive through that stretch of God forsaken land, I try to avoid it in the middle of the day. The desolate highway that cuts through the Devil’s bedroom wiggles in the heat waves like water in a mirage.
In June, I was traveling through that territory at just before noon, the sky was empty of clouds along with the wind, and the thermometer had long passed the 100-degree mark on its way north. About 20 miles outside of Yuma Arizona, where the Colorado River marks the state line between the two states, I saw it. At first I thought it was a mirage, but I slowed for a closer look.
I was headed east on Interstate 8 and the mystery object was headed west on the shoulder on the opposite side. There was some type of pole sticking up in the air, kind of slowly bouncing. Intrigued, I continued to slow down, knowing I wasn’t holding up any traffic behind me.
“Maybe it’s a surfboard on the back of a motorcycle with a flat tire?” I thought to myself, “No,” I countered, “It’s some type of lumber,” I continued to play the guessing game distracted from the boring desolate trip. I finally got up on it, my face pressed against my side window like a curious little kid… I began to figure it out.
He knew I was curious, he smiled and gave a hearty left handed wave. “Well, that’s something you don’t see every day!” I said out loud as if someone were listening to me and still in complete disbelief. It turned out to be a big guy, nicely groomed, brown hair, trimmed beard and well dressed. The stranger had long pants, a long-sleeved shirt on and took surprisingly long, strong strides in the soft earth.
I was moving too fast and still trying to piece the odd thing together and didn’t get a chance to wave back… I wish I would have. I can’t think of too many other strangers that I’d like to wave at besides that man. I wanted to tell him how much I admired and respected him in the form of a wave.
I really would have loved to have had a conversation to find out just why he’d make such a bold display before the world. I’ve considered myself bold to speak the truth of God to a lost world, but I was an amateur next to this guy – This guy was the real deal, and you won’t believe it but…
The well-groomed, lumberjack-looking gentleman, was carrying lumber on his back. He couldn’t wave with his right hand due to the piece of lumber he was holding in place with it as he walked through the Devi’s bedroom. The long piece of lumber was a 6×6 or 6×8, about ten feet long, the perpendicular piece was the same thickness, about six feet long and fastened to the big piece about three-quarters of the way up it… No light object.
I’m not sure where he was going, but where ever it was…
He was carrying his cross…