The first were 3 perfect shells...my trinity of shells...full of color and mystery and wonder and beauty. I could carry them in my pocket but their story was far beyond and blended with the power of the mighty Pacific Ocean from whence they came.
The second were 2 beautiful dolphins about 200 feet off the beach. They were swimming gracefully, rhythmically rising and falling. They were keeping pace with me as I jogged. They were my companions for a few minutes. I marveled at the effortless movement by which they traveled. I was sweating, panting, and grunting my way over the sand and they were floating through the water. I long to move that way through life, in perfect alignment with the way I was designed.
The third was Joe Hoe. I haven't had a conversation with him yet. But we have smiled and waved and said, "Have a great day" to each other a few times as I have been running on the beach. He wears a floppy hat, a big grin, and balances a hoe over his shoulder. I know that hoe. I have never seen it in action but I have seen its aftereffects. It leaves its mark.
You see our beach has mile long park above it called Bluff Park. You can walk on the sidewalk along the Bluff and look down over the sandy beach. The beach sand is a perfect canvas for Joe Hoe's artistic masterpieces. They are nothing special as to the design but the messages that Joe carves in the sand are truly blessed. Joe will write "God Loves You" in 40 foot long letters. Anyone looking down from above can't miss Joe's message.
He's got others. "You are loved", "Jesus saves", "God Cares", "Turn to God", etc. Always hopeful, always caring, always big...really big. Joe simply does his work and goes on his way grinning. Sure people come along and mess up his artwork. Sometimes they turn it into something confusing or sad. But Joe Hoe just goes on day after day writing his sandy love notes from God to the world.
Seeing Joe Hoe on my birthday run was a gift from God to remind me, I need to keep writing God's love in large letters for the world to see. Keep writing with my life, my words, my actions, my leadership...even if my mark on time is going to be short lived or even if others misunderstand and attack...I am going to write as large as I can: "God loves you!" because I have experienced God's love for me!