I didn’t notice it at first.
My sister sent me a text after I sent her the picture I had just taken of her godson.
“What a gorgeous photo. Just amazing. Did you notice that the sand on the bottom middle/left looks like the face of Jesus?”
Now, before I go any further, let me just say, for the record, that our family is not the sort that makes a habit of looking for religious figures in our grilled cheese sandwiches.
Granted, Jesus had made an impromptu appearance inside of my air freshener several years ago, but other than that, our food and inanimate objects have been presumably Jesus-free.
After I got my sister’s text, I glanced at the photo again, which to me was already perfect in every way. Andrew and I had worked as a team to write his name in the sand; he spelling it out slowly and confidently, one verbally approximated letter at a time, and I digging into the semi-soft and damp surface with my toes, forming each letter with love. I knew when the tide came in, our handiwork would be washed away, the tiny granules of sand transported into the depths of the ocean, no trace of our efforts left behind.
But it was one of those moments that imprinted itself on my heart, where I know it will stay forever, no matter what the moon has in store for the sea.
And there, on the bottom, to the very right of Andrew’s foot, was the image my sister was talking about.
Slightly abstract, somewhat blurry, a mixture of sand and water and hope and faith…..the sweet, smudged face of Jesus right next to my little boy.
I don’t care:
that it may not be real
that I may seem crazy
that it could all be a figment of my desperate imagination.
I see what I need to see and what it shows me is that Andrew is never alone, that he is always in the presence of God, that he is protected in a way I may never understand.
And for now, that’s enough for me.