“I can do”, began Ron Drake. They were his opening words last week at the Chamber of Commerce’s First Friday Coffee. It was quite a statement to make on the stairs of the 1913 Connelly-Harrington House (formerly Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce).
Under his feet was a beautiful burgundy carpet runner that leads the eyes up to the rest of the amazing restoration of a landmark disfigured months ago by a devastating fire. Several firefighters and Chief Neely who had battled the blaze were scattered throughout the crowd listening. They did not need to gaze at the post-fire pictures posted throughout the building. Whether pictures of memory or film, gratitude was engendered for what now is and almost wasn’t.
Thousands of gallons of water were poured on the building to extinguish a blaze that began on the roof. Mineral deposits literally flowed down wooden trim marring even the uncharred locations. Some people had suggested bulldozing the old lady as they traveled past her pocked face and caved in cap from the fire. Faith is an amazing thing, however.
Adversity brought out the best in the historic building as well as Ron and Christina Drake. They began armed with a vision of what the future could be and surrounded by a solid crew of workmen. Their experience of God’s past provision provided a platform of faith from which to jump into the future with hope. What seemed an impossible task is nearly completed aided by the community’s encouragement and the hard work of the Drake Renovation & Construction crew. The statement was made and several former residents concurred that the Connelly-Harrington House looks better now than it has in ninety-five years.
“I can do” Ron began, immediately followed by “all things through him who gives me strength”. The quote from Philippians four can be the witness of anyone in every challenge they face. It matters not a whit whether the challenge is financial, physical, emotional or all of the above. The testimony from DRC is that God is always available to give a fresh vision, new strength, and bring friends alongside to lend aid. Don’t believe me? Ask Ron, Christina, or any members of the DRC crew for a testimony.
Ron ended his address to the chamber members with an admission that his best business year has come amid the worst year he has experienced. Perhaps the phrase “through Christ” is instructive not only to the Drake’s, but to all of God’s children. “I can do all things through Christ” is a statement of dependence not pride. It leads to the best in the midst of the worst. I believe you “can do”, too. Do you?