LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A new billboard off New Circle Road is spreading a message of kindness this holiday season.
The man behind the message is Father Jim Sichko, a papal missionary of mercy for Pope Francis.
"My hope is that people see that sign and that some way, they find a way in which they can grow into being a better human being," Sichko said.
From far away the message is clear: "be kind". A closer look, however, reveals a deeper meaning.
Each letter has a different symbol on it:
- The "B" and "E" show the American flag.
- The "K" is the Kentucky state flag.
- The "I" shows the colors of the LGBTQ community.
- The "N" is the papal flag.
- The "D" is African Kente cloth.
Father Sichko said each symbol is a reminder to treat all people with compassion, kindness, and respect.
"We may not agree or understand how people believe or operate or even to whom they may be attracted, but we can still be kind by being with them and learning from them," Sichko said.
Several customers at a local coffee shop down the road said they agreed with the overall message.
"If I just see that, it's a nice little message," Roman Wells said. "It just kind of lifts up your day."
However, some said they were not convinced that it would make a difference in how people think.
"I don't think it's going to change a lot of people's opinions, but it's nice for the season," customer Lew Bowling said.
"It's not thrilling I would say," customer Michael Eble said. "If you want my honest reaction, I would hardly notice it."
Sichko said he hopes people see the sign and find a way in which they can grow into being a better human being.
He said the billboard will be up for about another month. You can find it between the Nicholasville and Harrodsburg exits on New Circle Road.