April 2, 2013

Cross to bear: Locals re-enact journey to crucifixion

By Magen McCrarey
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Stephen Parsons carried a life-sized crucifixion cross through the streets of London Friday, waving to drivers passing by.

Parsons was one of about 40 people from various Laurel County churches to pick up a cross in conjunction with the Christian Holy Week. Parsons declined to reveal the name of his home church.

Cross-bearers hope to shed light on the path Jesus took to his crucifixion and the affliction he endured. Demonstrations continued all weekend until Easter Sunday.

Parsons started at the Kroger on North Main and continued to A.R. Dyche Memorial Park and back, about a four mile journey. He was careful with each step, to not let the cross touch ground.

“This is the first time I’ve done this. I’m not worthy to carry this cross,” Parsons said humbly.

He said carrying the cross made him more aware of the persecution Christ went through.  As a former resident of New Mexico, where re-enactments like these take place at the Sanctuary of Chimayo in Chimayo, N.M. every Easter, Parsons said he used to believe Christians were being extreme.

“I used to think, ‘This is extreme,’”  he said.

At 64-years-old, he said he’s less worried about what people think of him, less judgmental, and feels more free than he’s ever been his entire life.  A new-found Christian of one year, Parsons is celebrating his 22nd year of sobriety.

“I can’t wait for 100 because I’m better than I’ve ever been,” he said.  “I belong to a church where it’s not about the church.”