Reverend Bob Mercer was in visible pain as he walked into Clarenville on Good Friday.
The large, wooden cross he carried dug deeply into his shoulder. He grimaced each time the cross jarred as it dragged along the asphalt.
Mercer was nearing the end of an 11-kilometres walk on Good Friday carrying a cross—just as Jesus Christ did thousands of years ago on his way to be crucified. While Christ walked from Jerusalem to Golgotha, Mercer’s path took him from the United Church in Deep Bight to the United Church in Clarenville.
Mercer embarked on the journey to find a new way to approach the yearly tradition of recognizing Good Friday during Holy Week. When he arrived at Memorial United Church in Clarenville he would talk about what he felt and try to relate it to what Jesus went through so many years ago.
Like Jesus, Mercer was not alone on this Good Friday.
Several people were walking with him in support, an RCMP car was escorting him to provide safety from traffic, and many people emerged from their cars or homes to take photos.
While Mercer struggled under the heavy weight of the cross, he acknowledged the people who walked by his side.
“They’re giving me strength,” he huffed, never slowing his steady gait towards his destination.
“God love them.”