During their daily routines around Houston recently, some people have come across a small, colorfully painted rocks sitting in odd, barely noticeable spots in seemingly random fashion.
In all likelihood, the placement of those rocks wasn’t random at all. As small notes attached to them indicate, they’re part of a campaign being conducted by some local residents called, “Houston MO Rocks.”
With community involvement and simple goodwill in mind, the effort is spearheaded by Lisa Hamlin. The idea is sort of hide-and-seek, find and re-hide, and clues are posted on a Houston MO Rocks group Facebook page.
“We hide them around in lots of different places,” Hamlin said, “and we post pictures of where they are.”
Once someone finds a rock, they’re encouraged to “hide” it again and post clues about its location on the page. Some clues have been posted in poetic style, while others resemble riddles.
Hamlin said it’s fine for people to even paint their own rocks, hide them and post photos and information about them.
“The whole concept is basically to get families involved in having family time together,” she said, “from decorating to hiding and finding the rocks. It’s also just to uplift somebody’s day.” Some of the rocks depict faces or symbols, while others feature a cheerful or inspirational word or phrase.
Rocks have been placed at a variety of locations in Houston, including outside the post office and library, at the Lone Star Plaza, and at the angel next to the memorial outside the Texas County administration building.
“You never know where you might see one,” Hamlin said. “Most of them are found pretty quickly, but there are a few that have been harder to find and some that might even still be out there.”
The idea was inspired by a similar effort in Centralia (Mo.), and programs also exist in Jefferson City, Springfield and elsewhere. Objects other than rocks are fair game, and some small painted pumpkins have been placed here and there around Houston.
A sub-category of the campaign is “Stoned for Jesus,” a phrase coined by Hamlin’s husband, John Sheehan, who is pastor of an online ministry group. Rocks bearing the name Jesus or gospel-oriented phrases are among those that have been hidden.
Hamlin likes the catchy name of the sub-category.
“When they hear it, people pick up on that word ‘stoned,’” she said.
Hamlin said several people have participated so far, but she hopes many more get on board. Another round of about 25 rocks was hidden around town last weekend.
“We hope that when people pick one up, they’ll know what to do with it,” Hamlin said.
•Go to Facebook and search for “Houston MO Rocks.”
•Look through the posts for photos of hidden rocks and clues to find them.
•Go find the rock –– by yourself or with friends and family.
•Take a photo of the rock you find and post it within the group.
•Re-hide the rock and leave a clue in the group for the next person to find it.
•OPTIONAL: Paint your own rock, photograph it, hide it and leave clues as to where to find it.
Log onto the Houston Mo Rocks Facebook page or call Hamlin at 573-639-9137.