A War World II veteran is spreading a message of joy and positivity by working with his hands. That veteran is Florida resident Herman Mehling.
The 98-year-old takes hours and hours every week creating the signs that help him spread that message, according to First Coast News. What this veteran does is create signs bearing the name of “Jesus.” He creates them by gluing pieces of wood together.
The name each of his signs bears is not easily readable at first. But when looking at it from a distance, the message becomes clear.
“When they first get it in their hand, I can’t read it myself,” Mehling said. “… You got to get back roughly four or five, six feet. And then your eyes, zero in on it, and you know what word it is.”
Joe Moore, a friend of Mehling’s is impressed with the signs the veteran creates.
“It’s a fun way for people to figure out,” Moore said. “It’s like a puzzle. And when they get it. So what’s the first thing they usually say? ‘Wow, I see it! Jesus!'”
In fact, it was a friend who made Mehling aware of the “Jesus” sign.
“I brought it home, and we put it on our bookcase. It sat there for nearly 30 years I guess,” Mehling said.
The veteran’s signs have made their way across the world and into the hands of some famous people. It is said that Mehling offers one of his signs to each person he encounters.
“In fact, Urban Meyer, the football coach, who I’m sure you know, he has one in his kitchen,” Mehling said.
Moore and other friends of Mehling’s assist him in getting the materials he requires to make the signs. They have also helped distribute them across the globe.
“They’ve been given out in Africa, Australia, even in Antarctica, and states all across the United States. Thousands of them have been made by Herman, one sign at a time by him. A labor of love,” Moore also said.
World War II Veteran Herman Mehling Plans to Continue Making His ‘Jesus Signs’
It’s not all that surprising that World War II veteran Herman Mehling would have a hobby that involves him working with his hands. He did show while serving in the U.S. Navy. His service included being a sheet metal worker. Mehling continued to serve after the war by working as a police officer and then a fireman in New York City.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of signs Mehling could make each day went up.
Some days maybe eight or ten, other days maybe I make fifteen or twenty,” Mehling also said.
He believes his signs are spreading a positive message. “I think it has given a lot of people hope,” Mehling shared.
Moore is definitely proud of what his friend is doing with his time. “The impact this 98-year-old man is making around the world is incredible,” he said.