Crossing Paths

- AMARILLO -- Potter county sheriff Brian Thomas can be an intimidating figure.  Not a lot of crooks would take him on but, he does have a softer side.  One guided by faith.

        When he's not taking down bad guys, sheriff Thomas spends part of his time making wooden crosses.

        "It's kind of a stress reliever but it's spirit led".  Thomas said. 

        Sheriff Thomas picked-up the hobby following a three day journey designed to bring you closer to Christ and to develop leaders within the church.  It's called the Walk to Emmaus

        Thomas adds, "A lot of my crosses are tied to the Walk to Emmaus and that is what we consider the team cross.  There's a lot of prayer going on around that cross.  It's given from the spiritual director to the lay director."

        Walks to Emmaus are held several times each year.  Often at Ceta Canyon south of Amarillo.  Participants, known as pilgrims, leave behind the modern world for a weekend and listen to more than a dozen talks on various subjects designed to strengthen your relationship with Jesus. 

        "I was asked probably ten years ago to make one for one person on a walk.  Since then i've probably made 10 to 15 for people on walks."  Thomas said.

        Sheriff Thomas does not sign his artwork and he doesn't take any pictures of them because it's not about him.

        He has made two crosses for persons not affiliated with the Walk to Emmaus.  One was for a dear friend who lost her husband A.J. Swope last year in a fatal head-on collision.

        Thomas said, "I wanted to do something for her that would give her peace and that would show her that A.J's still around and watching her.  I made one for her and I made one for his parents."

        This particular cross leans backward as if blown by the wind.  A sort of personal touch Thomas adds to every cross he makes.

        "A.J. was in the wind business.  When I finished I thought it just fits.  God led me to do that.  He picked out the piece of wood.  There's something about each one of those pieces that when you give those away it fits the person."  Thomas said.

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