With bittersweet tears, I read in Saturday’s Morning Sentinel about the passing of John, “the Cross Man,” who had for many years walked the streets of Waterville, waving high his cross, blessing all in his path.

John was a man who lived well his faith, boldly carrying the cross wherever he went, reflecting the love of his master, and reminding us of the one who died on the cross, that all might have eternal life.

Some may have dismissed John as a religious fool. Christ himself faced such derision. Speaking for my family, we had great admiration for John and will miss his presence on the streets of Waterville.

As John walked briskly along, full of divine purpose, he would suddenly raise high his cross, waving it fervently at cars passing by or in front of this or that house or apartment building. One by one, thousands of us, knowingly or not, received a blessing imparted by this humble and loving servant of the Lord.

Although John’s presence is no longer to be seen on the streets of Waterville, I believe that the blessings he laid on us all will continue to endure.

Let us all learn a lesson from John, “the Cross Man.” Let our lives be lived with purpose, conviction, honor and caring for others. Each day let us find ways to serve others selflessly.

In John’s passing from this mortal life to eternal life, may he be blessed by the words of Jesus, whom he honored publicly every day: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant … enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” May God bless John “the Cross Man” as he has so lovingly blessed all of us.

Eric Stout


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