May 9, 2020

Towering above the town of Hana, Maui, is Fagan’s Cross, standing about 20 feet tall, made from lava rock in 1960 to honor Paul Fagan. Fagan was able to sustain the economy of Hana beyond the end of sugar cane by starting a cattle operation on no-longer used sugar cane fields, and establishing tourism in that remote location.

A close up of a lush green field

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I had the privilege of serving as kahu at Wananalua Congregational Church in Hana for three years, and had many opportunities to hike up to the cross on many occasions, since it was just across the street. The half-mile hike up the hill was a great workout, and the view well worth the effort. The view of the ocean is spectacular, and all I can say about participating in Easter Sunrise Services with the other congregations in town is WOW!

But there was one challenge. The pasture below the cross was used to graze cattle, and you had to choose your time wisely to avoid not only to steer clear of bulls but also the steer by-products that dotted the way.

My oldest sister, Carol, came to visit me for two weeks to celebrate her retirement. We decided to hike to Fagan’s cross one afternoon. We made it to the cross without incident, and took our time looking out over Hana Bay to the island of Hawaii (a.k.a. the Big Island).

A group of people standing in front of a tower

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We both felt a call of nature, and turned to walk down the hill. Rounding a curve about halfway down, we discovered that cattle had been let into that pasture. They stood between us the hale kahu (the house of the pastor) and the necessary room. My big sister, the forceful (some might say bossy) sister, who was traumatized by the geckos, centipedes and roaches that went along with living in hale a rain forest, took on her role as the oldest sister and in a very calm but forceful voice, said, “Anne, just keep walking and don’t make eye contact”. 

I have no idea where that came from, but it worked, and we got home safely.

Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” I caught a glimpse of the way through Carol that day.

I give thanks for older sisters and the mother (and father) who raised us ~ Anne

Pastor Anne

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