Tourist plants seeds on the beach for the Lord.

Butch Hawks, 63, of Jackson, Tenn., has been vacationing in Destin for 26 years with his wife and family. He has been what he calls ‘doodling’ in the sand each year. He tells The Log the following story about his sand art.

“I use simple tools (putty knives, shovel, buckets) and I have accumulated a large duffle bag of sea shells that I use. If you do much of anything in the sand people love to stop by and watch.

“A few years ago I started a tradition of doodling something spiritual on Sundays as a beach ministry. I have been totally blessed with the support and encouragement from people on the beach for doing this! I have been able to use these spiritual doodlings to plant many seeds. Thus, this past summer, I did a cross with the name of Jesus in the cross member in the middle of a heart. When asked, it was very easy to explain the unimaginable love (large heart) it took to allow His son to die on the cross for all of us.

“Shamefully, I initially had reservations about doing something very spiritual on the beach. People go the beach for numerous reasons, and they are usually there for their one-week a year to ‘do their own thing.’ But in today’s Christian faith world we need to be creative to step out of our normal box and find new ways/methods to sow His spiritual seeds.

“I have inscribed Bible verse references on my doodlings over the years. But a few years ago I decided it would be appropriate to do something openly spiritual on the Sunday that we were at the beach.

“My first doodling related to this decision was Jesus’ feet on the cross with the nail in His ankles and I was totally blown away with the response. People gave me compliments like ‘Thank you for being so bold with your faith,’

‘We are in such a need for more of this,’ ‘God is smiling down on this beach,’ ‘Oh, that is simply beautiful,’ ‘Word of what you have done has traveled far down the beach and we had to come see.’

“An 8-year old boy told me once, ‘you aren’t doing anything special; you are just uncovering what is already there.’ What a perspective he had! And what a blessing!

I knew when someone walked up and had no comment that was my sign to give a simple explanation for what I was trying to get across with that particular doodling (to say something in the name of Jesus, a word of hope and love that we can’t possibly comprehend). I’ll never know the results of doing this, but it is my understanding we are to simply sow the seed.”