I might call this post “Signs of the times”. I had a long trip this week. Starting Monday, I drove through Allentown (PA), Reading (PA), Charlottesville (VA), and Charleston (WV). I don’t mind the driving and once in a while my attention gets called to the roadside to see the sights (don’t worry, I’m not writing this on my Blackberry while driving).
This trip through Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland raised my curiousity and inspired me to research some of the “Signage” along the highways, in particular the several spots where I saw crosses placed on the hillsides beside the Interstates. Three crosses, the center one painted gold, carrying a message bigger than the biggest billboard you will find. Where did they come from? How did they get placed in those prominent places?
So I went to trusty Google to find out, and the story is quite inspiring. I’m not going to place the whole story here about Rev. Bernard Coffindaffer and his personal mission, but in a nutshell, this man spent $3,000,000.oo during his lifetime “planting” these crosses in 29 States, the District of Columbia, Zambia, and the Phillipines. He died in 1993, but his mission continues through another organization which is locating, straightening, and refurbishing them. The “unfinished ministry” that carries on today…
If you’re traveling through the area, I found several of these located on I-81 North (VA) at milepost 202, I-64 West (WV) at milepost 181 (pictured above), I-79 North (WV) at milepost 110, and I-68 East (MD) at milepost 35. This last one led me to yet another bit of “curiosity” research as this set of crosses stands in front of a huge steel structure, that a passerby would have trouble identifying until you read the sign next to the structure that says, “Noah’s Ark Being Rebuilt Here”
This is another “unfinished” ministry, but it has an interesting story as well. In 1974, Rev. Richard Greene, a pastor in Maryland, received a calling to build a church as a replica of Noah’s Ark to be built “as a sign to the world of God’s love and the soon return of Jesus!” Called the Ark of Safety, this is another ongoing mission.
I wonder how many people see these signs every day in their drive, and whether they see the meaning behind the signs, especially the Three Crosses, of the depth of God’s love for us, to send His Son to earth, to take on the burden of our sins, and die for us.
It’s a powerful message, nonetheless, and I can’t help be feel a great deal of thanks everytime I drive by. Helps me keep my “eye on the Road”…