Cross-bearers display God’s sacrifice along highway

Published 9:22 am Friday, March 30, 2018

The Cross is the turning point in all history – in each life and in the world.

With that knowledge and belief, Aretha Hartley of Brundidge followed the tugging in her heart.

She asked her husband, Larry Hartley, to make a cross that she could shoulder as she walked the highway in a show of faith and trust in God and his son Jesus Christ who died on the cross for the sins of all mankind.

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“I had been going back and forth with the idea of walking with a cross on Good Friday,” Hartley said. “But, it was only two days before that I decided to do what my heart was telling me to do.”

Hartley had walked with members of her church, Hawhill Assembly of God, when they carried a cross at Easter three years ago.

This time, she was on her own. She used Facebook as the way of letting people know she was planning to carry a cross along U.S. Highway 231 from Brundidge to Troy on Good Friday.

She got only one response – from her cousin, Angie Yarbrough.

However, it was short notice and many people would be working.

“I was not discouraged,” Hartley said. “I knew that God would send who needed to be here.”

Janet Benton joined the walk on Friday and Darren Ellis volunteered to drive the escort vehicle. Both are Pike Countians.

“We started walking around sunup and will carry the cross to Chick-fil-A in Troy,” Hartley said. “We chose Chick-fil-A because it’s a Christian organization.”
Traffic was fast and heavy along Highway 231 south of Troy. A Brundidge Police vehicle escorted the cross-bearers to the city limit. From there, they were on their own.

“Some people blew the their car horns and waved but most just flew on by,” Yarbrough said. “But, they had to see the cross. Maybe it made them think.”

Hartley said her prayer was that God would put a hedge around them as they walked the busy highway.

“We have the faith that angels are walking with us,” Benton said.

Hartley and Yarbrough wore T-shirts with the Bible verse “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me-Philippians 4:13. Benton’s shirt read, God is our refuge and strength –Psalm 46.

“We know God’s goodness and we know what He has done for us,” Hartley said. “We are carrying this cross to remind those along the highway about the suffering of Jesus for our sins and that He suffered and died so we might have everlasting life. If what we are doing makes a difference in the life of only one person, then we have done well.”