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A Shirt Named "Joe"

What color is your favorite shirt? My dad has a favorite hiking shirt that’s a rusty orange, but the retailer poetically named the color “Navajo Joe.” Papa finds this so comical that he calls his shirt “Joe.” When he first bought the shirt, he mentioned it often. When the wind picked up, when clouds blocked the sun, or when the evening chill settled into camp, Pa would remark about putting on Joe.
I’ve known several Joes, but a certain Joe stands out—a good friend for many years. Almost every time Pa referred to that shirt, I thought of Joe—so when the shirt was new and Pa spoke of it often, I had many reminders of my friend!

One afternoon in the backcountry, we paused on the trail for Pa to take off Joe. I looked around me at the stunning mountain scenery. Each peak told me that God loves me. My eyes traced a green ridge down to a shining aqua lake. It said the same thing! The sun beamed down my Father’s care, and the birds sang about it. That’s when I realized that God has put more than a thousand reminders of His love into nature—and daily life. If I’m listening, I’ll hear His name continually—much more often than Pa could ever mention Joe!

I’m glad God says “I love you” so often, because I need the reminders. When I take them to heart, I realize I don’t have one good excuse to worry. My Father cares!

Hiking heavenward,

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