When Jesus calls upon his followers to take up their cross and let him lead them, there is no way to tell exactly what that cross will be for each individual person. Every person’s journey is special, and at times it might be confusing to others around them.
For Acie Burleson, Jesus’ call that he take up his cross and follow was a literal one.
Fourteen years ago, Acie and his wife Anastasia both became followers of Jesus at a conference for Christians. Shortly afterwards, Acie felt compelled to build out a physical cross and share the gospel. He had a dream where a loud voice told him “Go and tell others about the returning of Christ Jesus.”
Burleson has ventured throughout the country on many occasions, but his most recent spiritual journey is picking up national attention. Burleson started trekking across the country with his cross from his hometown of Andrews, South Carolina, on March 11 and he is trying to reach the Grand Canyon by May.
Even though he gets so much criticism and ridicule from some people, Burleson does not back down from his true calling to serve Christ. “I love Jesus. That’s it. I just love Jesus.” He shared in a recent Facebook live.
When he encountered a heckler as he preached on the street, Burleson’s response was loving and compassionate. “I just told him that God loves him, Jesus loves him. I’m just doing my best to share the Gospel … As long as God’s Word got out, that’s all that really matters.”
In another video shared by Corinth Today, Burleson triumphiantly said that he is on this journey “because Jesus Christ is still good news.”
As of April 29, Burleson has made it to Memphis, Tennessee, and already has some incredible stories to share with the world.
“There was a woman driving and she was just looking at me, so I waved like ‘Hello’ and kept walking. She then cut me off and is just falling out of her window weeping and crying,” He said. “Just like that crying and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh what’s wrong? What happened? Are you alright?’ and she said ‘I was one block away from killing myself and you stopped me.’”
Burleson is relying on God’s guidance as he heads to Arizona.
Burleson’s testimony is creating many opportunities to share the Gospel with others, but he is also encouraging people to do the same in their own lives. Steve Morgan saw Burleson carrying his cross through the University of South Carolina campus a few weeks ago, and told the Carolina News and Reporter that he thinks that Burleson’s actions showed that people shouldn’t be afraid to talk about their faith.
“I think today many people are afraid of it. They are afraid to say, hey I am a little bit different. This is what I believe.”
Even though Burleson is aware of his destination, he is still uncertain what will happen once he arrives. “Whether or not I stay there or go, I don’t know yet,” Burleson said.
Burleson definitely knows sacrifice, as he has spent a long time away from his wife and four children, subject to the elements and to ridicule from non-believers. Plus, he has been carrying a heavy cross on his shoulders!
It is clear that Burleson’s faith in Jesus is crucial in his life. Every opportunity to him is a moment that he can attempt to share the gospel.
Prayers for Burleson on his journey!