This title comes from an old hymn. The lyrics say, “Though millions have come, there is still room for one. There is room at the cross for you.” Monty and Kathy Henson would say this is still very true.
Five years ago today, one of the most recognizable sites in Terry County, even on the South Plains, was erected. This is of course the anniversary of The Cross on Highway 380 being raised. The story behind it is interesting and the story in front of it continues to grow.
In February of 2015, Monty woke Kathy up one morning and said, “I had the strangest dream. I dreamed God told me we needed to build a big cross out here on the highway.” Startled, Kathy replied, “I had the same dream!” So work began.
Monty’s workforce and so many others spent lots of time working and studying together on the logistics of it all. Many people stepped up to help when they heard the plan. One man donated much of the steel for the cross itself, but wanted to remain anonymous. There were many occasions when God stepped in and lent a hand also.
“I had just ordered the concrete mix when the doorbell rang,” said Monty. “It was an AFLAC salesman. I started telling him what I was doing. Turned out he was a concrete guy and he knew what mix I needed. I called the company back and they agreed and that was the mix we used. That guy showed up the day we put the cross up to help. God certainly had a hand in that.” When the concrete was poured, everyone who helped put their hands in the concrete. These handprints remain. “We didn’t want names. We just wanted the hands. We want people to see that this cross is for everyone,” stated Kathy.
Another thing about the time the cross was being built, it was in the middle of a drought. “We were not real sure what was fixing to happen, but we knew that God had laid this on our hearts and this had to be done,” stated Kathy.
After studying things, and talking to the folks at Texas Ag Plus, they knew the hole had to be dug 10 feet deep and had to be reinforced with rebar. Enter Lance and Scott Richolson. “These guys knew what they were doing and stepped in to make sure the base was secure,” stated Monty.
Finally, it was cross raising day. It had to be done by April 1 because Monty and Kathy’s daughter Madison was set to deliver her baby any day now, and as it turned out that day was April 2! Kathy got to Houston in time to step in and let Madison and Ben get to the hospital.
A large crowd gathered to watch the cross go up. The tallest guy in the county, otherwise known as Barrett Brown climbed up into the tallest hoist they had and got the 40 foot tall and 20 foot wide cross up. Hands were joined and prayers were said, dedicating the cross to everyone who passes by.
By the next Easter, in 2016, a tomb was in place, making the site complete. So far. There are other ideas and plans in the works, but it all has to be inside God’s plan for the cross site.
Kathy estimates that an average of 10 people a day stop at the cross and tomb. So do the math on that and you will find that close to 20,000 people have likely stopped at that cross. That idea whose seed was planted by God. So many have helped in many ways. Ann and Delwin Marrow furnish the stickers for the tomb. Jerold and Joy Baldwin have gotten German Holy Bibles. Kathy stated, “We bring the cards in every day and pray for the requests. Sometimes they are written in Spanish or other languages. We don’t have to know the details. God knows the heart of the writer and our hearts as we pray.”
Kathy says she always wants lonely people to know that God is always there and is always trustworthy, even when humans are not!
“This is all about God,” says Monty. “It is all about bringing more people in to know the One that can make such a difference in your life. It is certainly not about us, by any means. We are just who God used.”
Kathy says there are many interesting stories that come out of the site. “We have every book and every card where people have signed in or left a note.” Monty says, “That cross is the first thing I see in the mornings when I look out my bedroom window. I then look out my front window and I see the American flag. That cross gives me freedom from the power of sin and that flag gives me freedom in this country. I am thankful for these daily reminders of those who have given their lives through the years for the protection of both those freedoms. I am most grateful for the One whose death on the cross and resurrection in the tomb gave me life and life eternal.”
There is not a better way to end a story like this. We have so much for which to be thankful. Jesus’ offer of saving grace for sure and certainly for this great country in which we live.
“Though millions have come, there is still room for one. There is room at the cross for you.” Amen.