December 19, 2021

I Need You

JILL MORIKONE

I was just wrapping up a meeting with Luke,* one of our managers. It had been profitable, as we discussed process—what worked and what didn’t—as well as future goals and plans. Luke is a brilliant individual but doesn’t throw his gifts around like others I know. Never arrogant, just willing to help anywhere, with a keen sense of humor and a heart for God. He stood, hand on the doorknob, as I thought, Where would 3ABN be without himWe needed him!

Suddenly, my assistant Grace’s face appeared in the window just before she burst through the door. “Jill, Cheryl fell and broke her arm. There’s blood and she’s in pain.” 

The room tilted for a second as I processed her words. I suppose I stood and grabbed my car keys and phone, but I can’t exactly recall. Not Cheryl! We needed her. She was someone who always had my back, someone who would do anything for anyone, day or night. It didn’t matter the need; you could always count on Cheryl. She would jump in front of a car if it meant saving your life. And now, she was in trouble with no one nearby to help.

The gravel spun as I pulled into Cheryl’s driveway, Grace right behind me. When I opened my car door, Grace was already running into Cheryl’s garage. 

Cheryl lay motionless on the concreteI reached toward her as she struggled to sit up. Agonized cries filled the air. I’d never heard Cheryl cry out in pain before. She was always so strong. Lord Jesus, help her.

“My purse. Get my purse.” She barely got the words out as another wave of pain hit her. I reached for her purse while Grace helped her to the car, bones in her arm protruding under the skin. It was clearly broken. 

Through it all, Grace held herself together, helped Cheryl, and managed to drive off to the hospital. Throughout the evening, she continued to text me updates. 

“She’s in ER. . . . Finally gotten some pain meds. . . . They’re setting the bones now. Surgery to follow once the swelling is reduced.” And then the last text, “I’m getting some jammies so I can stay the night with her to take care of her.” What a gift Grace was! She had a husband, a family to take care of, yet here she was, ready to serve. Eager to help and protect. God, when did I take her for granted? We need her.

Later that evening I sat on my own couch, wrapped in a blanket, a fire burning brightly in our woodstove. Comfy, but troubled. God placed people in my life, in this ministry, for a purpose. Did they recognize how needed they were? How valuable? 

Sometimes, I become too focused. 

Sometimes, I become too busy.

Sometimes, it takes an event to remind me what’s really important—people. I need them all: my husband, my family and friends, my coworkers. When was the last time I communicated that? Had I ever said, “I need you”?

When had I become too busy, too inward focused, to say what was really on my heart? I need you, for you show me what God is like. You make my life complete. 

So, I say today, “I need you. Those I know and those I’ve yet to meet. The prickly, the kind, the intuitive, the fatuous, the caring, the challenged.”

I need you. 

Jill Morikone is vice president and chief operations officer for Three Angels Broadcasting Network (3ABN), a supporting Adventist television network. She and her husband, Greg, live in southern Illinois and enjoy ministering together for Jesus.

*All names in this article are pseudonyms.

JILL MORIKONE