I do not follow a recognised, man made path to faith. Raised as non denomination christian within the UK English and military education systems I’ve a keen interest.
Unbaptised, I realise I cannot get into Heaven, should there be a ticket system. Thankfully, I don’t believe in a separate heaven and separate hell, I believe in a spiritual afterlife that we all go to when we die.
That being said, I love stories. All stories. I don’t discriminate. Being a Brit means stories are especially important to how we learn to behave, communicate and interact with each other. As a child I was fascinated with St. Christopher and still am.
Legend has it, and we all love a legend,. This was a man looking to serve. He wanted his life to mean something. He searched for power to ensure that his service was of some use. He was also one of the very first ‘martyred’ – before the first bible texts!
He was from Asia. He decided to serve powerful Kings with his strength, as he was huge – apparently over 7 ft tall. Until, that is, he noticed that the Kings feared the devil. He realised that the devil must be more powerful than the Kings so searched for the devil.
Then he served the devil. We can assume he did helped him do ‘unspeakable’ things. When serving the devil (apparently violent criminals) he discovered that they feared Jesus. Realising that Jesus must be more powerful than the devil he searched for Jesus.
A hermit/preacher that our big fellow came across informed him that to find Jesus he needed to pray and deny himself sustenance. Our man couldn’t fast and pray to serve Jesus so he decided to do good deeds instead.
And he did, he worked at helping people across a dangerous river. Reportedly carrying the baby Jesus on one occasion which almost cost him his life. This is the icon which we know him well for as it is on many talisman jewellery. Saint Christopher pushing against a strong river current, carrying a baby on his shoulders is a popular pendant.
St Christopher remains the patron saint of travel. According to many sources he came from the area we now know as Libya but was killed in Rome by one of two Emperors.
His legend has travelled further and struck hearts and souls worldwide. For me, it is an enduring story. The story of man’s inherent need to be useful, doing something which is deemed to be right and serve mankind.
Thanks for reading.