I don’t know who is responsible for the messages in the sand next to Johnnie Mercer’s pier but they have been appearing for a while now. It seems that each time we go to Wrightsville Beach we find a new message carefully carved into the sand. It must take some time and patience to leave these letters that always say something about Jesus.
As much as I admire the dedication of the sand artist, it always makes me a little sad, knowing that all it takes is a rainstorm, a high tide or a careless toddler stumbling over the artwork to erase the message. Back in the 1950s, Pat Boone used to croon a tune called “Love Letters in the Sand.” In the song Pat is grieving that, like the letters in the sand, his girlfriend’s affection didn’t last very long. I believe God is offering a more enduring love – in fact, an eternal love – to His beloved.
The Apostle Paul wrote several letters to the church in Corinth. In his first letter, he comes down pretty hard on the church for ignoring some behaviors that needed attention. In his second letter to the church, he backs off some and offers a defense of his ministry. He asks the members of this congregation, “Do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you?” He continues his line of thought by telling the church folks, “You yourselves are our letter… Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read just by looking at you. Christ himself wrote it – not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives…” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)
Paul recognized that the most effective and lasting message about God is the faithful living of His followers. People should be able to see Christ in us and because of us they, hopefully, will want to know Him better. We are walking billboards for Jesus. We are ambassadors for the King of kings, helping others understand who Jesus is.
That is why it is so important that we be “steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58) God’s love cannot be not be erased by waves of emotion or spiritual tempests.
In challenging times, we need to remember that His name is carved on our hearts, declaring to the world, “This one belongs to me!”