Two days ago, in the midst of a crazy day where I was already buried work wise, I decided to take up an offer to drive to Terre Haute and interview 4 young adults walking across the country.
Crossroads Walkers travel across the country offering up their suffering, their time, and their witness to try to help bring an end to abortion in our country.
There are 4 walks that happen simultaneously throughout the U.S., all starting on the West coast and converging on Washington D.C. arriving there together in the middle of August.
Andrew Moore was the first of the four walkers I met in the middle of St. Patrick's parking lot in the middle of another scorching afternoon. He had just finished walking and was a little dazed by the heat. I think all four of the walkers would have initially preferred sleeping in their RV rather than heading up to the second floor of a rectory to be interviewed in a tiny room, but the four walkers put their game faces on and tried their best to fight through the exhaustion and made their way upstairs.
Although they were reluctant at first, the four of them and I really quickly began to enjoy talking with one another. It was my first time interviewing someone on the radio (assisting Msgr. Moran), but I had an absolute blast, and it was fun to see them laugh as they had a chance to reflect on what they had been doing. For me, although I knew I was falling behind schedule wise, it was the best thing for me to spend some time with these 4 young adults - it was a thrill to listen to their stories, to be moved by their determination, and to be reanimated by their mirth.
Andrew was a very quiet young man, he never used one word that he hadn't thought about before saying it. He didn't like to make eye contact, but when he spoke, his words were very precise and at the same time spiritual. The Indystar reporter I spoke with this afternoon told me that Andrew had been discerning a call to the priesthood, and looking back on our brief time together, it certainly seems like it would have been a good fit.
There is something about meeting someone who is in the middle of an adventure. It was the same thing when I visited my brother Tony in the middle of his bike ride across the country. While making you slightly jealous :) It also lifts your spirits, and I would imagine it is why so many in the middle ages were happy to host pilgrims in their homes and welcome travelers. Encountering someone who is on an adventure (and even more when the adventure has such a noble aim) was, for me, and from the interview it sounds like for thousands of other people that they met along the way, an opportunity to transported above the normal work-day world.
The crossroads walkers, and their now deceased fellow walker Andrew served as a reminder that this is not the end of all things, that there is more to reality than meets the eye, that the little details and messes and skirmishes and routines we allow ourselves to be bogged down by are problematic because they distract us from raising our gaze higher, we often see only clumps of cells, we only see schedules and busyness and hassles...but there is obviously more to this world than meets the eye, and our Faith continues to try to remind us of that.
Andrew Moore was a man who was in the business of raising people's gazes while he was alive, and I suspect his death will do that in ways he could have never imagined.
Andrew Moore...In Pace Requiescat.