Author:  Arthur Blessitt
ISBN:   978-1-934068-67-0
Publisher:  Authentic Books

Click Here To Purchase The Cross: 38,102 miles. 38 years. 1 mission.

Arthur Blessitt has carried a large wooden cross to 315 nations and island groups.  He has walked over 38,000 miles this way.  He has preached to huge crowds and has been alone in the remotest part of the earth.  His life and work has been about telling others about Jesus, specifically by carrying a large wooden cross to every nation in the world.  

Blessit has led a very interesting life; one that would make for a great memoir, but too bad this one reads like one long sermon.  Blessitt shares snippets of his experiences throughout, but none stand as a story into itself; all dissolve into a lesson, a prayer, or Blessitt’s testimony of Godly intervention, just like a sermon.  Even one of the longer and most exciting stories of when he faces malicious guerrillas lasts only three pages and does not give a clear picture of what happens.

A large problem is that Blessit will tell about something at one time and place and then jump to another time and place, often staying there for just a paragraph.  The time-line is jumbled, as the book is not chronological.  Topically, it doesn’t work either.  The topics of each chapter are similar to each other and indistinctive.    Less would have been more here.  Take away half, or two-thirds, of the book and develop just the remaining third into longer, memorable stories.  It’s unclear how he met his wife, who travels with him as a fellow missionary.  A five-page testimony written by Denise, his wife, is included in one of the chapters, as is two-pages written by his second-eldest child, Joel.  A third of the way into the book, we learn that his children are from his first marriage, but nothing is said about that marriage.  Not much is said of his five other children.

There are some parts that will grab the reader.  When he was twenty-eight, Blessit suffered a stroke from an aneurysm and was told that he shouldn’t do anything strenuous otherwise risk death.  But as Blessit tells it, God called him to carry the cross far and wide, so he did; and other than having numbness sometimes, he has lived to be seventy without having the aneurysm operated on.  Impressive are his travels around the world, like being in the Middle East during times of war, and at the Berlin Wall after the fall of communism.  The logistics of the cross is interesting.  Blessit tells how he built it and rebuilt it, and cut and bolted it so that three four-by-four inch pieces of wood could fit inside a triple ski bag for plane trips. 

If you want to become acquainted with Blessit’s preaching, or if you are already a fan, this book is for you.  He is undeniably a great preacher.  As a plus, his motivation and intentions seem pure.  As he tells the reader, he carries a cross because God told him to, and that is the only reason.  Blessit does not promote any specific denomination, theology, political party or self-advancement.  He does meet famous people, and recounts some of these meetings in his book, but his only intention seems to talk to them about Jesus.  Some people may wonder at his admiration for Yasser Arafat, whom he met twice.

 Click Here To Purchase The Cross: 38,102 miles. 38 years. 1 mission.