I’m In

As I walked to worship one evening at Glory Ridge, I remember the sun stretching its long rays through the trees and taking one last big yawn as it fell asleep behind the mountain range.  The moon rose to greet us as we circled for prayer.  Our faces, worn and tired from a hard day’s work, were illuminated by the light of candles held gently in our hands. I was on the verge of tears.

My team of five kids and three adults had been assigned to work with a family that required new flooring in their mobile home.  The original floor was rough plywood with rotten holes in which you could see straight through to the Carolina clay that lay beneath.  The family’s two small children would constantly get splinters in their feet when running down the hallway.  To top it all off, they had no functioning restrooms.  It was an unsafe, near unlivable condition.  Due to an issue with getting the right materials for the job on time, we were far behind.  My heart longed to finish this job,  see our whole team succeed, and the whole family safe, but there just wasn’t any way to complete our project.  So that night I prayed.

After a few moments of silence, one of the adults shared a story about a little boy.  Each night this boy would come to worship and when the “amen” time came after a prayer, he would throw both of his thumbs up in the air with a huge smile on his face.  At first, she thought this behavior was a bit odd, but didn’t think much of it.  As the worship progressed, she leaned in a little further to hear what the boy was saying and as he was getting ready for his thumbs up she heard, “I’m in.”

I began to reflect on the situation I faced and thought, no matter the outcome, “I’m in.”  The tears subsided and I knew that God was present.  As I sat there quietly, I suddenly became distracted by the buzzing of my cell phone in my pocket.  After a few minutes, I thought there must be some emergency.  When I glanced at the screen, I started seeing photo after photo coming through of the family we were assigned installing the flooring.  They felt so inspired by our ministry that they wanted to help.  The next morning when I arrived on the worksite, I could see that we were going to finish.  Together we would be enough and my prayers were answered with a big, “I’m in.”

The flooring and plumbing parts installed in that home was paid for in part by the generosity of Holy Cross.  Through your support, a family in the foothills of Marshall, NC has functioning bathrooms, a brand new floor, and feet safe from splinters. I think back on that mission trip fondly and remember that in giving we also receive.

As I hold my pledge card this evening, I am proud to be increasing my pledge by 15%.  I’m giving back to a faith community that has been dedicated to outreach and transforming the lives of others through our love for Jesus Christ. As we journey this difficult road of life together, no matter what love requires, I’m in! 


Your friend in Christ,

Jonathan Graves

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