Taking Jesus into the community

|PIC1|If you’re in Newquay this Christmas, you may just find a small pebble bearing the hand-painted image of baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes.

One local artist has left more than 200 of the palm-sized pebbles around the town by one local artist as his way of bringing Christ out of the church building and into the community.

“It’s about telling the story of Jesus. The birth of Christ is such an important event and it’s just lost in all the commercialism. It’s such a shame,” says the practicing Christian, who wishes to remain anonymous.

“Newquay doesn’t even have a nativity scene. That’s one of the things that spurred me on to do it,” he continues.

“You’ve just got to take Jesus out into the community. You’ve got to get Jesus out of the building into the streets and that’s what I am doing.”

The small pebbles are just a couple of inches long and are left nestled in recycled hamster bedding on window ledges, benches and cash machines.

“I just leave them where they can be found,” says the artist, who attends Truro Light and Life Church and is gaining a name for himself around town as the “mystery giver”.

One of his favourite places to leave the pebbles is cash machines.

“Cash machines are a really good place to leave them because there isn’t much space so people pause to look at them. People look at cash machines as a source of riches and they are finding another source of riches.

“I saw one really big guy who looked like a builder. When he saw it he just smiled and put it in his pocket and that's what it's all about really.”

The artist insists he doesn’t want anything in return for his good turn.

“It’s not for my gain in any way whatsoever. I just want to bless people and show a little love and give them a gift that is absolutely no strings attached. There’s no Scripture on it. There’s no ‘come to our church’. There’s no ‘www.jesus’ on the back! It’s just a little gift and hopefully it’s something they’ll keep forever.”

And more importantly, he wants the pebbles to point people towards God.

“I don’t want to get anything out of it except my reward in heaven. God knows what I have done … Give him all the glory, the glory belongs to Him.”

So far, the mystery giver is only aware of positive feedback.

“One lady commented that it’s really nice that someone is giving something away, even if it is just a little something. Actually, it is the biggest present you could ever wish for to be honest!”

Now he is hoping other churches will catch on and do the same thing next year.

“I hope it goes nationwide. It’s all doom and gloom and bad news and everybody’s losing their jobs but I know there is a hope for everybody.”

It’s for that reason that the mystery giver asks that Christians will leave the pebbles where they are so that they can be found by people who do not yet believe in Jesus.

“There are going to be people caught in a storm, lost at sea this Christmas, and they are going to be crying out to God for help. People who never in a million years thought they would be crying out to God for help are going to be crying out this year.”

He adds, “I’ve only been a Christian five years and for me to be doing this is a miracle in itself because if I can be saved anybody can be saved. This is my way of giving back. I won’t ever stop telling people what God has done for me.”