I always kept a camera in the car, just for these moments. Across the empty parking lot a man sat leaning against the side wall of a box store. The parking lot iconic in foreground with concrete yellow car stops. 

I initially took him for a pan handler, but the site made no sense. No car would stop in front of him, they just passed him by. Besides, I kept to a personal rule of never photographing the down and out just looking for a few dollars. I hesitated taking the photo.

I attached my long lens to get a better look. He sat praying, a small sign in front read “Jesus Saves.” There was no asking for money. A small red umbrella shielding him from the sun, adding to the scene.

My mind clicked back to seeing these “Jesus Saves” signs all over town placed high on telephone posts at busy intersections. They hung beyond human reach echoing their message and casting mystery of how they got there. Curious, I had even searched the net about their origins. No answers found. 

I looked through the camera at the man again and wondered. Was he the one who placed the signs or knew the hands that did?

David Young