Walking Tall For Jesus

Published 7:24 pm Tuesday, March 9, 2010

With a cloak made of light denim and a walking stick in hand,Nick Della Valle made his way down Highway 84 Monday, blessingcars, homes, businesses and even livestock as he passed them.

Not far behind, on the other side of the highway, his wife Lucydrove their RV just fast enough to stay with him as he made his waydown the road, walking what was somewhere near the 880th mile ofhis 3,300 mile journey – 100 miles for every year Jesus walked theearth.

He said that his walk – and he’s not even sure where it’s goingto end up – is to make people think.

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“I’m probably the funniest thing most people will see out here,”he said. “A little guy, dressed funny. But it doesn’t matter ifpeople believe in God or not, they see this outfit and theyassociate it with God.”

And that’s all he and Lucy are asking for, he said.

“People say, ‘I think he’s a lunatic,’ and other people say,‘He’s a holy man,’ and the dialogue is started,” he said. “It getsthem thinking about things, and we want them to talk aboutGod.”

Nick, who is 63, and Lucy, who is 51, both stand under 5 feettall. But in spite of their small stature, they are not afraid of abig mission. The Della Valles got started in Olathe, Kansas, whichis just outside Kansas City, walking and sometimes stopping atchurches to tell stories and give their testimony.

This is the third time the two have undertaken such a project,and they have had all kinds of adventures in the process, includingplenty of curious onlookers, dogs, and in Louisiana at one point,even the threat of alligators.

Still they trust God to fund and protect them as they goalong.

“We haven’t asked for sponsorship, not because we have any badfeelings about money, of course,” Nick Della Valle said with alaugh. “But it’s a long journey, and we’re little people, andsomehow it could get made into the Nick and Lucy show, not theJesus Christ show.”

And the fact that Nick, who among other things was a former LasVegas poker dealer, and Lucy, a naturalized citizen from MexicoCity, are both so small, actually comes into their ministry quite abit more than some people might think, he said.

“It’s one advantage of being little,” he said. “I’m 4 foot 8inches, and Lucy is 4 feet tall. If I was 6 feet 8, I doubt anyonewould stop, but as it is they think, ‘Well, if he’s really weird, Ibet I can take him out.'”

Along the way there have been all sorts of people who havestopped, too.

The Della Valles tell the story of Allison, a girl who came tothe door of the camper with a bag of groceries and tears in hereyes, telling them God had told her to bring them some food. Rightbehind Allison was her mother-in-law, just making sure she wasn’tgoing somewhere to get abducted.

“Nobody’s ever rude,” Nick said. “This is our third journey andwe’ve only gotten one negative comment, and we don’t even rememberwhat it was.”

And the Della Valles have plenty of friends in law enforcement,too. Something about seeing a little man in an outfit that lookslike it comes straight from the Bible times prompts people to callin the badges, they said.

“We have met a lot of police,” Lucy said with a smile. “We’re ona first-name basis with a lot of police officers.”

Then there was the trucker that saw Nick Della Valle and turnedaround to tell him that once upon a time Nick had blessed him, andthat he had blessed him again as he drove by.

“He has no idea how much that impacted my life,” Della Vallesaid. “There are days you wonder, no matter who you are, do Ireally matter? Does anyone really care? But God really does care,no matter who we are. There is no condemnation in Christ.”

Mostly, the Della Valles said as they passed through LincolnCounty quickly, maybe never to return again, it’s about living amessage, because some people don’t respond to the preaching.

“People need to be lifted up. You don’t really have to sayanything, you just stand for what you believe,” Nick said. “This isour way of standing for God in our own country.”

And that is an epidemic, too, he said. There are more people offaith in the country than mainstream media would have the worldbelieve.

“There are a whole lot of good people praying for the valuesthat maybe we agree on, but they’re quiet,” he said. “That’s not onthe news. Blow up a building and you’ll make the news, but build ahospital and you probably won’t. But there are a lot more goodpeople than we know about.”

More information about the Della Valles’ ministry is availableat www.christwalk.com.