I met Jesus on the beach last week. He was patiently teaching and encouraging others. He repeatedly tried to help them go beyond their comfort zones and take a risk. What he suggested was hard but when the people listened and practiced what he was teaching they began to experience the exhilaration of accomplishment.

It should be no surprise to meet Jesus in such a beautiful place and to find him in a servant role.

Jesus (the Spanish pronunciation is Hey-zus) and his brother Francisco are surf instructors at a beautiful secluded beach on the Pacific Ocean. They and their family operate a small palapa on the Playa Carrizalillo in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. The food and drinks at their little thatched roof facility on the beach are delicious and economical.

Just  up the steps from the beach is the Villas Carrizalillo where my family and I spent several wonderful days. The sunsets were spectacular every evening around 5:45 as we sat on the terrace overlooking the ocean and the cove below. The tropical beauty was breathtaking on the immaculately maintained grounds of this intimate and tranquil environment and the food in the on-site restaurant was outstanding. The owner, who lives in Barnesville, Georgia, and her staff provided excellent service.

The area around Puerto Escondido has been inhabited by indigenous people for centuries, but it was not until the 1920s that the town was founded as a fishing village and a port for shipping coffee from the coffee farms in the foothills of the SierraMadreMountains.

I met only one person named Jesus I experienced God’s presence in the faces of flower sellers at the Mercado Benito Juarez and the hospitality of the waiter at the ZicatelaBeach restaurant. We saw people who care for God’s creation as we observed the release of endangered baby sea turtles into the Pacific Ocean as a part of the ecology program of the Universidad Del Mar.

The hymn, Sing a Song of the Saints of God, (United Methodist Hymnal #712) suggests that we can meet God in the persons “we meet in school, on the street, in the store, in church, by the sea, (and) in the house next door. They are saints of God whether rich or poor, and I want to be one too.”

I am not suggesting that everyone we meet is a “saint of God” but I am reminded that the image of God is implanted in every human being and I believe that God is present everywhere. It should come as no surprise that we can meet God in every place and in all people.

A song from years ago suggests that “you’re the only Jesus some will ever see.” As we look for Jesus in others, let us be careful to allow Him to be seen in us.

Jamie Jenkins