Living By Example

On The Shoulders Of Giants With Andrew Curtis

Andrew Curtis | June 23, 2024

Five years ago, I was not a writer. God had not yet blessed me with the realization that I would enjoy putting words to paper. Then, I got inspired, and I wrote a book about a grandfather-figure mentor in my life who was a “giant” to me. Shortly after my book publishing, I sent a story to [email protected] about that man who inspired my first and what I thought would be my only book.

The reply I received from longtime GON editor Brad Gill was encouraging and sincere in its praise of my story. I was shocked to see my article in print a couple of months after. Half a year later, I decided to write another story and send it to Brad’s email. Little did I know what doors that submission would open. Brad responded by saying that he enjoyed my writing and gave me an invitation to send in more. He probably did not know the monster he was creating.

This open invitation allowed me to write, and so write I did. I did not really know what I was doing. I had never taken a writing class outside of school, and my last real essay was in high school. But I felt the words come to me. The more I wrote, the more in love with the process I became. Also, the more I wrote, the more I submitted to GON, and the more interactions I had with Brad.

In his first email response to me, I noticed that he had a Christian quote below his name… nothing overpowering, but still powerful in a paradoxically subtle way. Little by little, I began to see the man that Brad is. He did not just talk about being a Christian; he lived it in a bold yet humble way. Then another door opened for me.

During that time, my Christian faith was changing from a comfortable place of stagnation to an energized quest for growth and knowledge. God had been weighing on my heart to do something combining the outdoors, kids, and Christ. The problem was that I just did not have much free time to devote to this newfound calling, much less start something from the ground up. I did not know that God had already inspired its creation in Georgia, and I did not have to look far to see the answer in front of me. 30-30 Ministries found me, and who should be heading the organization?

Brad Gill, of course! I could not believe it. God had put Brad in my life at the precise point I needed him. This offered me the opportunity to support a group that aligns with my God-influenced desires, even if only prayerfully and financially for the time being, with the hope of eventually participating in the mission in person.

Brad gave me a real-life, everyday example of how to follow Christ. Gradually, I began to notice his role shifting from my GON editor to someone I could really admire as a person. Then, subtly, he began to grow taller and taller in front of my eyes. Friends of mine know my sentimentality with the quote pertaining to “standing on the shoulders of giants.” The people in my life who inspire me and lift me up, who give me foundational shoulders to stand on, are the reason I am where I am today, the reason I might ever be metaphorically tall. These are my giants that God has put in my life, and they get my full respect and admiration.

Often, when I send a story submission to Brad, his response includes a profound line or two about his faith, and invariably, I get the pull of the Holy Spirit as I read his words. I’m sure Brad will feel awkward reading this about himself, but that is one of the reasons why I respect him so much. He is humbled by the knowledge that he will never be perfect in this life, but he also knows that through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, he will be made perfect one day.

Recently, I discovered that Brad and his wife have been fostering children. Their decision to do such a pivotal act in helpless children’s lives is a result of living daily with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I began writing this story over a year ago, but the timing did not seem right. Now, I have felt God’s blessing to rework the story and send it in, but it is not going to [email protected]. I don’t think Brad would feel comfortable with any praise like this, although this short write-up certainly doesn’t do his character justice. I also know that Brad does not view himself as a giant in any way, but I am here to say that he is one of the reasons that this boy here has grown taller over the past few years.

Brad Gill has some sturdy shoulders to stand on because I know for certain his feet’s foundation is on Jesus Christ who lifts him up. There is a giant behind [email protected], and he is living by example.

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.