The person of interest for this week is only a common man like us. You have never heard his name before. Yet, he has done many good things by doing what he knows best: carpentry.
Greg Zanis was a carpenter in Aurora, Illinois. His life took a memorable turn in January 1996 when his father-in-law was murdered. Zanis tried to cope with such a horrific act by building a wooden cross to remember his father-in-law.
Shortly after that, the 1999 Columbine school massacre happened. Zanis built 15 crosses for all victims and even the shooters and put them up in a nearby park. That was how the Cross for Losses ministry began. Since then, Zanis had been building crosses non-stop for countless victims of tragedies all over the country. He was there for everything: Sandy Hook Elementary, Boston massacre, Orlando club, Las Vegas, etc. After constructing the crosses with hearts on them, Zanis lovingly loaded them onto his truck’s bed and drove to the sites. He talked to the victims’ families and recorded the details in his many diaries. He even wrote notes of love behind the crosses. To this day, he had built and delivered more than 26,000 crosses. Moreover, he had jotted down 20,000 different stories. Who knows how many more lives he had touched.
On May 4, 2020, Greg Zanis passed away because of cancer. The world came together to donate to his GoFundMe for funeral expenses. They would always remember him as the “Cross Man,” who tried to emulate the life of love demonstrated by Jesus, the carpenter in the Bible.
How could you help with your neighbor or friends right now with your talent? Can you tell a joke, cook a meal, or just listen to their problem? Be kind today, and see a person’s life changed.
H/t: chicagosuntimes, reviewjournal