There, spaced along the highway were twelve inexpensive signs.
Just simple words of black on white next to some rigid pines.
The signs were spaced just far enough they caught my drifting eye -
so pondered I, each single word as they went marching by...
"For God..." "so loved..." "the world..." "that He gave..." "His only..." "begotten Son..."
"that whosoever..." "believeth in Him..." "should not perish..."
"but have..." "everlasting life..." "John 3:16"
So many times from grandma's house we read 'John three-sixteen' -
and millions more had seen this verse against the evergreen.
My dad, my mom, my brother, I - in humbleness would read
those words as we were driving by and faithfully did heed.
Now who had thought of doing this and painted them with care -
then dug the holes in God's green earth and set them up to share -
to other people driving by so they too could embrace
this verse of loving kindness - of vast forgiving grace?
I read those words each time we passed and wondered who'd take time
and paint the words for profit not - not even for a dime.
I wondered who that man could be each time that we passed by -
and wondered as some years went by - whose signs had caught my eye.
Yes, even as a teen I thought, who painted each of those -
then did the work to put them up? I pondered, just suppose -
he cared not for his pocket book but wanted to impart,
with work and pure compassion - some love within his heart.
Well, nothing lasts forever and sometimes something breaks -
so dad pulled to the shoulder and then hit the car's old brakes.
He took a hammer from the trunk. Bored, waiting for my dad,
I saw him fix a broken sign - and then I knew who had.
This poem won first place for the January 2013 poetry contest