On Good Friday I descended upon downtown Des Moines to take a picture for Page 105 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:
Take a photograph that could only be taken today, not yesterday or tomorrow.
I took off from the Computer Mine early on Good Friday and went to Des Moines to witness an event put on by The Bridge, a coalition of downtown Des Moines churches, called the Way of the Cross.
It is an interesting event where people carry or drag a cross through downtown Des Moines, stopping every few blocks or so to read a passage from The Bible and hear a small sermon or devotion or speech about that verse.
While I took several pictures along the way, only one can be physically adhered to the physical THE PHOTO JOURNAL. Here are some of the other pictures I took on this journey and I will follow it with my Yelp review of the event:
This lady set up shop on the National Rifle Association.
I even like her hat.
This woman tore what I’m going to call Republican Jesus to pieces. They were both from a church called The Downtown Disciples.
Note the lack of shoes – it was cold that day.
Here is my quick review of “The way of the Cross”:
My biggest disappointment is that there wasn’t somebody there dressed like Jesus dragging the cross. Now I realize that this isn’t realistic and is actually the antithesis of the exercise. The exercise exists so that you can personally drag the cross and get the slightest modicum of what Jesus might have felt physically on that day. That being said, a dude dressed like Jesus would’ve made an even better photo opportunity. Especially if a couple of other dudes dressed like Romans followed along whipping him. Then part of the way through the event, another guy dressed like Simon of Cyrene joined the group and helped carry the cross the rest of the way.
I guess, maybe I should set the standard and show up next year dressed for the part myself.
My biggest legitimate complaint is that the sound system for the sermons was awful. They used a megaphone that wasn’t loud enough. It wasn’t loud enough by half. It might have been loud enough in a quiet room. It wasn’t near loud enough to battle or let alone compete with downtown Des Moines construction and traffic. The only sermons I could really hear were the two Downtown Disciples. The only reason I could hear them was because I got all up in their grill when I heard the lady in the sweet hat start busting on the NRA. I knew I had to hear that.
I was also disappointed in the size of the crowd. Now I know that not everybody gets excited for Good Friday. Many denominations don’t even do a service on Good Friday. Even the churches that do, I would describe those services as “sparsely attended”.
Which I get. I mean you can get the full Easter experience and give thanks to the one that gives you everything, but on the other hand, it is a Friday, and that beer isn’t going to drink itself. Is it?
Furthermore, even people that celebrate Good Friday, how many of them are going to take time off for work to wander around Des Moines on a cold Friday afternoon. I get it.
However, taking all of that into account, I thought there would be more people.
On the positive, I think it is an excellent outreach program. It is an excellent way to take the “Good News” out of the church and into what is falsely called the “secular world”. I witnessed many gawkers during the path. From people staring out their car, to other pedestrians, to office workers who rushed to their windows to watch the symbol of salvation pass by.
For the people that took their turn carrying the cross, it was a powerful experience. I’m sure if I would have taken my turn, it would have been powerful for me as well.
That is the curse of the photographer. The camera separates you from the experience.
Would I go again? I would, but I would take somebody with me. Hmmm… I hear Shannon’s new gig gives her Good Friday off.