Many thoughts and feelings envelop me nowadays – sadness, anxiety, excitement. Good news: our house sold in one day – no lie. They also waived the inspection. Okay, that feels good. Our next destination on the journey will be South Carolina. All the grandparents are so excited, as they all live in South Carolina.

Our house closes on June 20, and I will be employed here through the end of July.  Problem.  Solution: Deb and Bill Gray’s basement.  If you didn’t know, when I began my ministry at RRCB, it was a week before we could close on our house in Midlothian – the solution was Deb and Bill Gray’s basement.  I’m grateful for their hospitality, both then and now.

MK Necklace - GraysThings came full circle for me again last Sunday night.  After youth, Jordan Nurney brought me the necklace you see pictured to the right.  Millie Gray, Deb and Bill’s almost eight-year-old granddaughter, gifted me with this necklace one morning when I first moved to Richmond.  Millie had wondered where my family was when I moved. After Deb told her they were still in North Carolina, she brought me the necklace and said, “I know you miss your girls so I wanted to give you this so you could remember them.”  Tears!  I didn’t take it off until I was reunited with my family a week later.

Because the necklace had been so helpful to me during a rough patch, I wanted to share the necklace with others. The youth took the idea and ran (not literally). The necklace made the rounds, being passed from person to person, given as a prayer of presence during difficult times.

When I texted Jordan last Sunday night to thank her for her beautiful gift, she said, “you guys deserve it now and I want y’all to keep it since it started with you guys. I hope it can remind you of River Road.”  Tears!

So many memories of our time together, few more powerful than the witness of a then five-year-old and teenagers who shared God’s love with one another.  I want to encourage you RRCB – take notice of our children and youth, not simply because they’re the future of the Church – they are. Maybe more importantly, they are a vital part of our present-day church. They have something of God to share with us. Their voices are important – take time to listen. Take time to invest yourself in their lives. Love on them. It’s likely you’ll experience God’s presence in a very tangible way, maybe even in a pink necklace. Thanks be to God.