Dear On Air Hosts, I was sitting in church and the Pastor ran a montage of healthcare workers, police officers, teachers and firefighters that continued to serve through the pandemic. He spoke about each group in tribute and said that we owe them a debt of gratitude. The congregation clapped and we were all expressing our gratitude, but I happen to be sitting next to Jerry Woods, Mike Agee and my wonderful husband Johnny Stone, all from WGTS 91.9 Washington DC. I looked down our row, knowing what they have all sacrificed during COVID and suddenly felt great gratitude for all of you. I don’t think any Pastor is ever going to add us to the list for acknowledgement, so I wanted to take a moment and recognize everything that you accomplished.
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” I feel like you have taken that to heart. When the world shut down, you kept going. Whether you drove to the radio station with your Essential Employee letter in hand or walked across your hall or shut yourself in your closet, you kept your show going. If you were afraid for your family, you took precautions and you served your listener well. And in the panic, you stayed calm (most of the time). At WGTS, pods were developed, masks worn and food collected to keep our listeners fed.
Facing your fear while driving on an empty highway or knowing that your kids were going to be home 24/7 (terrifying!) you continued to move forward and serve your listeners; that one that lost their job, another that served in a COVID ICU, a teacher trying to learn to teach virtually and everyone else who had no idea what the future held. When they turned on the radio, your kind, reassuring voice was there telling them that God was still in control and sharing words of hope in what felt like a scary, hopeless situation.
On January 6th of this year, Johnny and I sat in the studio and watched what was happening at the Capitol. At one point we looked at each other and knew that what we said and how we said it was why we were here. To reassure that listener who’s loved one is a Capitol police officer, to speak Jesus’ words of peace for the parent who is trying to keep their small children from the news and to convey that we are here with them in the District and we are not going anywhere. WGTS was also playing music that said, “peace be still” and “whom shall I fear” and “it’s going to be okay” throughout the entire event and aftermath. Do we know who received the exact message that they needed to hear coming through our airwaves? Yes, for some and not yet for others. We just know that we were where we were meant to be on a day everyone needed to hear from God.
Henri Nouwen wrote in Life of The Beloved, “To give someone a blessing is the most significant affirmation we can offer.” In Latin, to bless is benedicere and literally means speaking (dictio) well (bene) or saying good things about someone. Please take this as a blessing of what you are doing on air. I can’t say enough good things about what you have done and how we are all better for it. Take a moment as we move into a busy season of fundraising and providing more emotional support to accept this blessing of gratitude.
Keep blessing others.
Stacey Stone serves God by loving her husband, Johnny Stone, her family and friends, along with her little dogs and her listeners on WGTS 91.9, Washington DC. In addition to her 26 years in broadcasting, she is a licensed professional counselor with a private practice in Maryland, a public speaker, and the author of The Rescued Breed: When Jesus Shows Up And Transforms Your Pack. She can be reached HERE.