Today promises to be a hot one, but the breeze was refreshing when my husband and I set out for a walk shortly after 8.
He is a disciplined walker, taking two or three two-mile loops around the neighborhood daily, in addition to walking our furry child, Dixie. I, on the other hand, am a morning person, preferring to do anything productive, physical or otherwise, before 1 p.m.
I believe it's good to look where you are going whenever you are out walking, but sometimes it's good to look down.
We'd only gone a few steps up the street when we noticed someone had been writing on the pavement near the curb. Not the typical "Ashley + Tyler 4 Ever," or "Girls Rule, Boys Drool," but serious and heartfelt messages.
The first one I read proclaimed, “You matter!” with a heart drawn beside it. A couple houses down, I saw, “He lives,” punctuated with a cross.
The four-inch letters were deliberately neat, in white and pastel shades of pink and blue. Easter egg colors.
We walked for almost two miles and we continue to read the messages all along the way. They used a lot of chalk. Their fingers must have grown stiff and their backs and knees tired after covering so much territory.
Not every driveway had a message. My first impression was that the messages were meant for specific residents. Perhaps written by youth from their church.
Then it dawned on me. These proclamations and messages of hope were meant for every single person who might read them. Like a billboard in front of a church, only better because it is in the neighborhood where people live.
These days, our neighborhood is teeming with people all day. People of all ages are walking, running, riding bikes, all while maintaining their 6-foot or greater distance. There is no way any of these folks could have missed the pavement messages. Well, except the fellow on his bike who was also looking at his cell phone, but he was an anomaly.
Who are these pavement evangelists, I wonder?
I speculated it had to be someone who owned or had access to sidewalk chalk. The older siblings of kids who regularly practice their art on their own driveways? Someone who took special care to print clearly, knowing neatness counts. Someone, regardless of age, who is sensitive to our current situation. Someone who is inspired to share the love of The Divine.
How beautiful these unknown messengers of hope are!
With each stroke of the gritty chalk, they remind us of the hope that is found in Jesus, while wrapping us in a virtual hug from Our Heavenly Father.
So I say, thank you, nameless chalk wielders. You blessed my heart this morning. I can’t seem to stop smiling. My face is smiling and so is my heart.
God in Heaven, thank you for the hands that wield the chalk to spread Your great love and the message of the Resurrection. Bless them this day. May they feel Your Presence as they spread the good news and may we all follow their example. Amen.