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The Pilgrimage: A Short Story of a Long 200 mile Journey // June 19

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There is nothing like waking up and knowing that you are going to finish.  I knew that every step I had taken and was taking was a step toward abolishing the death penalty.  I called many people throughout the day as I walked into Austin.  I stopped for some lemonade.  The sweetness of the taste almost made me forget the pain in my feet and legs.  I pushed on with lemonade in hand.

 

Two fellow pilgrims greeted me on South Congress Avenue and walked with me the rest of the way holding signs opposing the death penalty.  Their presence was comforting.  Multiple blocks later, two of my dear friends met me along the way.   One of my friends had on a LGBT Pride shirt.  I didn’t think anything of it…until someone drove by screaming out of a truck window “Fuck you faggot!”  There is nothing like a little phobia to try to ruin a moment of triumph.  We didn’t let it…we just kept on walking.

 

Excitement filled all of us as we crossed the street and planted our feet on the grounds of the Capitol of Texas.  I felt electricity shooting out my toes.  The gathered friends and supporters began to clap and cheer as we walked up.  I gave a brief statement and we walked into the Capitol.  I stopped for a brief second to pray in the rotunda before moving on toward our closing event at University Baptist Church.

 

During the program, I talked over and over about the need to give the body to the struggle for justice.  After my walk, I believe the group understood what I meant.  I can think of no more fitting a place to finish my journey than where it began…in a Baptist church.

 

I walked for life.  I walked for love.  I walked for us.

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