Sidewalk chalk art has been a popular way to show encouragement and kindness during the coronavirus pandemic, but Brock and Sharika Triche wanted to use it for something more.

Passover was fast approaching followed by Easter, and the Triches usually observe both, first by tying a red ribbon above their door.

"But we didn't have any red ribbon," Sharika Triche said.

Brock Triche decided sidewalk chalk art would be a good way to mark the holy days.

"I told Shay that I was going to draw a cross in the driveway," he said.

The Triches are Christians and members of Cedar House Church on Jones Creek Road in Baton Rouge. They also observe Passover by tying a red ribbon above their door, signifying a lamb's blood. During the 10th and final plague, as the story goes, God passes through Egypt and strikes down the firstborn of every household. But the Jews have been told to mark their doors with the blood of a lamb they've sacrificed — the Passover offering — and so God “passes over” their homes.

In Christianity, Jesus becomes the lamb with his death on the cross, his blood saving those who believe in him.

"I told Brock to make the cross red," Sharika Triche said. "That way, we could celebrate both Passover and Easter together."

Brock Triche, a paint contractor described by his wife as a "human tape measure," immediately taped out the design on their Mallard Drive driveway.

"I didn't draw it out," he said. "I just eyeballed it."

That's when Sharika Triche, a painter who leads her church's creative arts ministry, took over. 

With the help of daughters Sarah, 9, and Karlie, 6, the couple worked on the project.

The end result is stunning — a stained-glass effect with the cross as its centerpiece.

The family began working on the project at 8:30 a.m. April 6 and completed it five hours later. Brocke Triche pulled up the tape, leaving straight, thick lines between the colored chalk panes.

"Our road is a boulevard, so each side is one way," he said. "Everyone coming into our neighborhood has to pass our house, and the neighbors have commented how much they like it."

The Triches' church will be shuttered on Easter Sunday, but that won't stop them from worshipping. They'll be streaming Cedar House Church's Sunday services on the internet at 10 a.m., then watching the Upper Room Church of Dallas' service on television. They'll also play praise music in their living room.

Although Sharika Triche was furloughed on March 27 from her marketing job for the Arizona-based national company, Digital Air Strike, she sees this as a happy time.

"This time has been a blessing," she said. "I've had more time to use my creative gifts and spend time with my family, and I'm thankful for that."


Email Robin Miller at romiller@theadvocate.com