(Jon) The song “Looking Up” really comes from a place where you have an unyielding spirit, a determination to continue on when you’re pressed down, a spirit of just continuing when everything’s been kinda taken away from you. And I’ve never seen the Mercy Ministries girls come in so excited and they picked up real quick and I just remember getting chills down my spine.
(song lyrics) “It’s over my head, it’s out of my hands. I know the best I got is not enough…”
(Gabe) Here are my Mercy Ministries sisters and they’re in trouble and I was immediately put in this place of a reverent awe. You see the Mercy Ministries girls, and they may look okay on the outside and they may look like they have it all together, but on the inside they may be dealing with some heavy, heavy things, stuff that I don’t know even as a guy if I could handle.
(Jon) All the proceeds of this single will go to support of Mercy Ministries. Every cent will go to supporting this great cause, providing whatever is necessary monetarily for Mercy Ministries and so we’re just excited to be a part of that and excited to just see what God is going to do through this song.
(Jon) Just hearing that part in the song, I kinda wish we would have gone back and put that on the record.
(interviewer) Gabe, tell us your thoughts on Mercy Ministries and Circleslide’s involvement.
(Gabe) Well if you just listen to us talk about it, you can tell we’ll never be the same after visiting and meeting the Mercy Ministries girls. It’s one of those things where people tell you how you have to experience this, and I can’t describe it. It really is that. But if you ever you’ve seen things on the news about tragedy of our youth today and how horrible things are for young people, here’s this ministry that free of charge allows young girls to come in and it saves lives. These Mercy Ministries girls could be going to prison, these Mercy Ministries girls could be on suicide watches or whatever. And instead they come out with a countenance of somebody who just is full of joy, hope. They are excited about changing their friends’ lives. It’s an amazing thing and so for us to partner with Mercy Ministries is a no brainer. And I know that I’m going to be telling all my family and my friends that there’s so many ways to get involved. You can go to the Mercy Ministries website, you can look at places where you can become a donor. I’d encourage you to visit Mercy Ministries if you’re anywhere close to Nashville. You should just come pay a visit and see what is being offered for these young women at Mercy Ministries. And I’ll never forget how the Mercy Ministries girls, they made us this huge scrapbook of their experience. It was this album cover that was meticulously drawn, all these great pictures. And all we really did is we just met them for a few minutes in the studio. Just reaching out and befriending and praying for these Mercy Ministries girls. I think that’s something that we just want to take with us and share. So look up “Looking Up” in iTunes. Like John said, it will be available in November. And thank you for just allowing us to be a part of this.
(interviewer) Can I ask you one more question as follow up? I’m curious as young guys looking at a home like this for young girls, how did it affect you as a guy, as a man, from that perspective? Because a lot of us who work there are women obviously. So what was it like for you as men, was it different?
(Gabe) Mercy Ministries changed my life. Mercy Ministries changed my outlook and it made me more aware of my surroundings, made me realize that there’s hurting going on out there of people who may look like they got it all together.
(Eric) I think for me, the whole experience was that it just kinda shattered my thoughts. Again, like Lee was sharing earlier, I didn’t know what to expect when we went into Mercy Ministries and the one thing I think that stood out in the stories that we were told was there were so many self-image issues going on. And there was a moment when they were sharing photographs, each girl had made a photo collage of their time there and it was amazing to see the photographs of the girls right when they came into Mercy Ministries and then at their graduation. And it’s like there are two people. There is somebody who is broken down and hurting in the first photo, who is distrustful who is angry, that has any number of issues that are, you know, literally weighing on them. And then the second photograph, the graduation photo, you are looking at this Mercy Ministries girl who is full of joy, who is happy, who has some self confidence. And it was really bizarre to me to see that much change in such a short period of time. It was literally like seeing a rebirth. I think that was, for me, probably the most impactful thing, just seeing the contrast in pictures.
(Gabe) It’s almost like society and maybe like the popular culture tries to portray and send, guys at least, messages of what women are supposed to look like, what women are supposed to act like and I think that if we are bombarded with that it’s no wonder that we’re all confused about our roles as men and women and how we’re supposed to act, and how do you achieve a certain look or how do you achieve happiness or how do you achieve love. And so it put everything in perspective being there at Mercy Ministries, like I said these are my sisters and they’re in need of help. And you know we need to treat women with respect. I know I try to treat my wife with respect. But what about the other women around us? How do we carry ourselves as men and how do we try to yeah just show respect and be brothers in Christ to the girls around us? So yeah it was a good little eye-opener.
(interviewer) Eric, you’re a father right? Do you have a little boy or a little girl?
(Eric) I have a little boy.
(interviewer) A little boy. Did it make you think about your role as a father at all?
(Eric) Oh yeah. You know everyone told me that having a child would change my worldview, that you know you can never prepare yourself. And my wife and I have been married for 12 years and we kinda understand the works and we expect the changes. And you know all the basic changes in life, yeah we were there for it. But the spiritual change of becoming a dad, suddenly there was a change for me where all of a sudden I understood the way my connection with God was supposed to be because God the Father and being his son. And it’s my job to provide his needs. And I began to realize through this situation that my connection with my father as in God is identical and I need to look to Him for my every need. And I can tell anyone who is about to have children or whatever, that it’s gonna rock your world, it’s gonna change your life but you pretty much won’t understand until you’re there. It’s beautiful. It’s amazing. It’s powerful. Kids are a joy there’s no doubt about it.
(interviewer) Anybody else have anything they want to add in?
(Lee) The question you had said earlier about as a young guy what were the thoughts going through my mind. I couldn’t help but just think, I mean one of the leaders at one point in time said that they’re bringing godly young men into Mercy Ministries to show these girls what that’s like. And the thought that went in my head, I have to make sure that I step up my game and that I am living what I say I am. And I couldn’t help but have this disgust from the way pop culture has taught us what is the norm and all that stuff. It just it left me with a really bad feeling. But more importantly a conviction to change that and make sure I know that I am viewing all these situations, even these young girls at Mercy Ministries, the way God does. That was definitely a big conviction of mine when I walked out of the doors at Mercy Ministries.
Learn more about Mercy Ministries at www.mercyministries.com