About the Author

Jennifer Dukes Lee is the author of several books, including Growing Slow. She and her husband live on the family farm, raising crops, pigs, and two humans. She’s a fan of dark chocolate, emojis, eighties music, bright lipstick, and Netflix binges. She wants to live life in such a way...

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& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Jennifer,
    I, too, was really struck by that moment. Amy Grant knew that the song was Bart’s song to sing…not hers. In addition to sending the elevator back down, I also took that moment to mean “don’t steal someone’s else’s moment”. Sometimes I think I can do things better, but I need to let others have a crack at it and have their moment to shine. I am SO thankful for others who have sent the elevator back down for me. Others who have walked paths (both good and bad) before me and pause to stoop low and lift me up….to send the elevator back down. It’s kind of like paying it forward. I pray that I will always remember those who come behind me…to send the elevator back down for them and by helping them I can pay the kindness forward for those who sent the elevator back for me. Wonderful analogy….excellent movie!
    Bev xx

    • Bev, We had the opportunity to see MercyMe perform in person in Sioux Falls on Sunday night. It was an especially rich, worship-filled experience after having learned about the backstory of this band and this song, via the movie. Thanks for being here today!

  2. LOVE this!! To whom much is given, MUCH IS EXPECTED! Thanks for sharing …. beautiful writing!

  3. This is such a unique way to talk about this subject. Very good reminder to me. Thank you.

  4. Dear Jennifer,
    I am so grateful for (in)courage and all the contributing writers. Every morning I sit with my coffee and read my “daily.”
    At the moment, I live in the same town as a young man who was sexually assaulted by Kevin Spacey. The actor has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault, in different countries. I understand our deed do not define us, and God forgives all, but it is very difficult to be asked to admire a person such as he.
    I’m sorry if I’ve hurt your feelings. Because I live in such proximity to one of the people he abused, I felt brave enough to speak up.

    • Oh Shelly, I deeply, deeply regret having used a Kevin Spacey quote. I sincerely apologize, as I had missed the allegations against Kevin Spacey. I can imagine that this was very hurtful for you to see a quote of his, written in a story with an encouraging message. If I had known/been aware of these allegations, I would never have considered using the quote, as this encouraging message about helping others, definitely stands alone without it.

      You have not hurt my feelings, dearest Shelly. I am only deeply sorry that I have caused any pain, and am so embarrassed that I had missed this. This oversight is mine. I take the blame.

      • Hi it seems to me that those sexually assaulted have the hardest time believing God’s word. I’m still working on incest between my father and I from 2-12. My elevator goes up and down. I work with the poorest children with special needs in my community. I know I can’t procolatize(sp?) to my students, but bring it up in different ways. My elevator went up when I was able to buy a gift card for one of my students at Christmas. I sent it home with a note that it was from the school. The parent didn’t buy into that and confronted me. She said I saved their Christmas. Blessing others, blesses me. I love the “throw” away kids nobody wants. They give me more encouragement and believe than I can glisten alone. I wanted to ask for prayer for a couple things: 1. I’m deeply discouraged right now as my seizure disorder has me at home, alone. 2. My heart’s desire has been to marry and have children. However, my mind is so wrapped up in keeping myself safe, and hyper vigilant I only have faith of a tiny mustard seed. I’m terrified of being intimate, as my abuse was extremely physically painful, shaming and used in a pawn game against my mother. Due to this, myfaith is waning. and I feel very discouraged. I want to believe and feel safe with God too, but I don’t. I feel lost right now, frightened and that I’m one no one would care about if I was gone. I know that this is untrue, and have no intention of hurting myself. However, the thoughts about suicide won’t go away. I have many people in my life that would be devastated if I was gone. Please pray that my thoughts decrease and faithul thoughts increase. Last year I fell down my stairs in a 3 grand mal seizures. I should have died, but I didn’t. However, many of my close friends have departed, because I was a mess God must have a purpose for me. Can you prayer for a new group of friends. I feel very alone. Lastly, an apartment building near my home caught fire. I believe it could have affected my students, whom lived there. I keep imaging my quiet life. How I usually go to bed feeling pretty safe, knowing I will wake up and go onto my routine in the morning. I keep thinking that the people affected/effected by the fire thought the same. The really hard part for me is that these are the very poorest people in San Jose, who no longer have a home to go to. My heart wants to jump up and help, but I don’t know how. Before putting me in prayer, can you lift up the people in the fire? Thank you for the visual way you wrote this.

        • Hi Heather,

          I just stumbled (lead by His Spirit) upon this site earlier this evening and was reading some of the messages here and came upon yours. I am inspired by your compassion and caring given the challenges and struggles you face. I have prayed for your requests including those who were affected by the fire as well as for your own needs and desires. Please know that you are an inspiration to me and others. God bless you and keep you. BTW, I don’t know if you have heard of Joyce Meyer and her story and ministry, but I recommend her ministry to you. Thank you for having the courage to reach out.


  5. I love this Jennifer… in the midst of all the powerful moments in that movie… I love how His Spirit can whisper … pay attention here… I am thankful you paid attention… and shared this story… i love the analogy… I love visuals … I have read part of Bob Goff’s new book… this dove tails into the theme… love everybody always… love sends elevators down … because God’s love came down to us… we just keep moving in that direction as well!!!!

    • Oh Ro … Can I tell you how wonderful it is to see you here today? I miss you, my friend! Isn’t Bob’s book so good? He communicates the Gospel in such a powerful way. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this movie…I actually saw it twice and had purchased the book before seeing the movie…yes, many things in the movie were portrayed differently which I can’t fully understand why that is often the case when a book is made into a movie.
    I understand abuse in many aspects but God has been gracious to bring healing to my wounded, hurt, broken heart and is still even at this moment working to bring further healing, for which I’m so very grateful even though it’s hard and painful…
    My take away from the movie was the private conversation Bart had with his manager (I believe that’s who he was) when the band had been turned down and he was ready to call it quits and throw in the towel! I don’t recall the conversation right now but did write down the words… they were a reminder to overcome fear and keep pressing on!

    • So many great reminders in the movie to carry on, persevere, keep one’s priorities straight and more. We had the opportunity to see MercyMe in concert on Sunday night. It was especially meaningful, after having seen the movie.

  7. Jennifer, Thank you for sharing this post written with such a sweet secondary story of you and your dad.

    I’ve had the elevator sent for me a few times in different t areas of life. And, I try to do the same for others with my online friends as well as my elbow to elbow coffee friends.

    • Thank you for reminding me that though seasons change, situations, mind, body and spirit are constantly changing. God doesn’t change ever! This pain, going through the recovery of my body mind and transformation of my Spirit is painful and does hurt on many levels and in all areas for this privilege to carry on Pressing Into God and the Power of The Prayers that people I don’t know here in earth are Praying for me and I them and other’s but I will know when God calls me Home I will meet and know each one there In Heaven Above and On Earth Here now and then.
      Jesus did Send the elevator and we too send an elevator to others. I’ve actually not heard of either the book or movie…Thank you for sending that elevator down to me through all of you who have written and shared May God Bless you all Always and Abundantly Amen

  8. Jennifer: Loved the movie. Saw it with hubby and he asked me if I knew if Amy did give the song back or was that put into the movie to make it more dramatic. Well now you have cleared that up. She did give the song back. So generous of her. This is a movie with so many themes and good points.

    • I was just so curious. I had to know! I actually put in an interview request with Bart Millard to find out for sure, but I didn’t get a response back. LOL! So I had to rely on other news stories. Hey … I’m still a news reporter at heart. I can’t help it!

  9. That was an amazing scene in the movie! I too want to thank you for the challenge. As it is written & another sister said, To whom much is given much is expected.

  10. Hi Jennifer! Loved this devotional! I, too, have an 80 year old dad with whom I LOVE hanging out, so your story was extra sweet.

    I have to see this movie! It’s on my list for the weekend. I’ve heard such beautiful things about it. What a great reminder to send the elevator down to someone each day. It could be a kind word or a ministry opportunity or anything in between. I’ll ask The Lord for opportunities each day to do that.

    Thanks, Jennifer. Praise God from Whom all Blessings flow! <

  11. Jennifer! Oh, how I love this post! I haven’t seen the movie yet, and I know it will be that much richer when I do because of your words this morning. Yes, let’s be elevator people!! Who knows how God might want to shape someone else’s story through our willingness to extend a ride up for someone else!

    • God Is Perfect and HE Does Continue To Speak to All His Children including me, durning this of Transformation thank you for posting this you have sent the elevator down to me your Sister In Christ Jesus God Bless you Amen

  12. I love this so much…never thought of it this way….thanks for the Holy Spirit inspired enlightenment

  13. Jennifer,
    What a blessing to have shared that special time with your dad. Thank-you for sharing your post this morning. I really enjoyed it, and the message behind it. As busy as life gets, we could put aside helping others as we’ve been helped, but it’s up to us not too.
    Blessings to all,

  14. Without the many who have sent the elevator down for me, I could still be at the bottom of the pit. Praise God for random acts of kindness.

  15. Jennifer,
    I’ve not seen the movie (like you, I rarely go see them, and for a # of reasons prefer to watch at home), but I just may make an exception this time. Thanks for the good review. You are one who comes alongside w/ great encouragement generally to your readers, but also to budding authors. It’s refreshing. I often recall this quote from one of my writing mentors (very well-known and prolific in her day), Florence Littauer, who said “Sharing isn’t substracting. It’s multiplying success.” I think sometimes authors (or those who have succeeded in other professions) fear they’ll lose their status or even will be bypassed by someone starting out who they perceive to be more talented than they. But the thing is that God calls us each uniquely, and there really is no competition or duplication of gifts and efforts. Instead, we need to come alongside and to cheer on another laborer in God’s kingdom. Our goals are all the same, but God uses each of us differently and individually. You’re a wonderful cheerleader, as exhibited here. And now, I’ll never think of down-going elevators in the same way! (Just please, Lord, don’t let me be stuck in one!)

    And I think too how almighty God sent His own precious, beloved Son on the down elevator to earth, and then down further into suffering and death, in order to bring with Him many beloved sons and daughters on the up elevator to eternal life. He condescended to do all that. How I pray He will use words of writers like you and me to point to the up elevator, whose door is open and waiting for those who will receive Him, to board and soar heavenward with Him.

    Thank you so much for sharing, dear one! (And I’ve always wanted to try out one of those recliner-seated theaters)! 🙂

  16. The movie is awesome and its message so timeless. But I too was struck by the Amy Grant moment. It occurred to me that she truly listened to what the Lord laid on her heart — that song wasn’t hers. To give it back to Bart was such a selfless act. And I have to ask myself, “would I do the same?” It’s inspired me to consider my words and deeds and ask myself who I’m serving – myself or others and the Lord?

  17. You had me at “I’m lame and have no social life”. Still laughing because I KNOW that state of being. 🙂

  18. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but have seen a trailer of the song that Dennis Quaid wrote, & sings. Plus he shares his testimony in that too. Every time I hear the song, “I’m On My Way To Heaven”, it blesses me. God’s love & mercy is so awesome!

  19. Thank you so much for this. I took my grandson and it really impacted him and his own life. An amazing movie, but but your metaphor applied to me personally. Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing what God gave you.

  20. Dear Jennifer Dukes Lee,

    I want to be able to help others. There have been those who have helped me, and I not only
    want to be able to return the favor if possible, but I want to also help those who have no way to
    pay me back, just for the sake of helping them. I need the LORD to help me so that I can do that.
    Please pray that I will be able to.


  21. Perfect timing for two reasons…once again the why not me and maybe not ever voices piped up earlier and more importantly I have a chance to take a chance on someone today and your post just nudged me more reassuringly so.

    thanks so much!

  22. Jennifer – I love this whole post. Yes we need to send the elevator back down for others and also, we need to be expectant and keep looking up for our turn. I can so relate to everything you wrote. This is so my heart, that we as believers in Jesus Christ would help one another. I loved this moment in the movie. In fact, it was the most talked about scene in the theater after the movie had ended. I was sitting with a few friends and we were talking about this exact scene and those around us were talking about it too. Amy had true humility – she listened to the prompting of the Spirit and obeyed – no matter the cost. I mean what was to be her come back song, she gave back to the one who wrote it (Bart) and gave him his breakout moment. God honored them both in the process. I love it and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  23. Jennifer, you send the elevator down. You are approachable. You respond to emails. You share recipes on blogs. There are many who don’t but you definitely have sent the elevator down to me.

  24. Jennifer, I loved, loved the movie. I found so many life lessons woven throughout the story. I love where you took your post. Sending the elevator back down. As a writer, I’ve been so blessed to have those who are published come alongside me and encourage me, move me back from the ledge, help me grow in craft, and cheer me on when I wanted to quit. I have been looking for opportunities to help those who are a little behind me on this journey and helping when the opportunity arises. There’s a sweet blessing in helping others and cheering them on.

  25. I saw the movie with my husband and oldest daughter as we had some time before a college visit!
    We all enjoyed the movie immensely!! It had several good points. One point that stood out for me was that people can change and people can forgive at any time of their lives. Some sooner and some later!!

  26. What great imagery, Jennifer! We’ve all had the opportunity to ride an elevator someone sent down, and now we have the opportunity to send the elevator down for someone else. What fun to see the smiles when the elevator doors open!

  27. Thank you for sharing this Jennifer …. it definitely resonated with me and spoke so personally to me about what direction to take in a situation that I am currently in. Praise the Lord for you and may He continue to pour out His blessings in all you do. Love you. I’m from Malaysia by the way. It’s amazing how God can speak to us through people who are so far far away.


  28. Jennifer, I haven’t seen this movie, but now I’m thinking I must! What a beautiful word picture…”sending the elevator back down.” There’s a special beauty in humility, isn’t there? I think of that as being the inner beauty of the “woman who fears the Lord.” (Prov. 31:30) After all, we’re not here to make much of ourselves, are we? — Lovely post; thank you. ♥

  29. I have seen the movie twice. Cried both times. Tonight I sat on the couch and finished the book. It too is awesome. Page 113: “We all face really hard seasons when it seems as if the entire world is against us, when we think we just cannot win. But when we keep standing strong, following the Lord, and obeying His calling, He will see us through and keep us on His path. We’re living proof of that truth”. I Can Only Imagine. I may drift off the path time and again, but I have a God conscious today that doesn’t allow me to stay out there too long. So much grace in this world, but yet so many of us turn our back…. PS that was the first movie I have seen in a theater in years…… Love ya.

  30. Thank you for this, Jennifer! As someone who feels my calling is being an encourager, I really latched on to your analogy of sending the elevator down! (I also took note of the idea of pressing the UP button, as well.)

  31. Jennifer,

    Great post. My husband and I saw the movie this past Friday. Loved it. Love MercyMe. Been listening to their music for years. Saw them 3x. What a powerful moment for Amy Grant. Made me think about how there are people who say they believe in Jesus, but don’t follow versus those who believe in Jesus and follow Him. See, if you can’t believe in your heart about something, how do you convince someone else about it? The same was true with the song. It wasn’t hers. He had so much history and learnings from it. It wouldn’t have been true in her heart as person and performer. As a believer, we all have a responsibility to live according to Jesus’s Words. So, yes, much is expected of the one that does. Be the truth for others…

  32. Jennifer,

    Like you I don’t go to the movies often. Time is one reason, but distance is another. I heard about I Can Only Imagine Movie & Bart Millard on Greg Laurie’s Harvest Podcast. Wanting to see it for a while now. I truly believe that If God can send His only Son to die for us without wanting anything in return except our adoration & praise then we should do the same. A couple of times I have done the “Drive Through Difference”. The idea is to order your meal & tell the cashier you want to pay for the person behind you. You hand a letter to her/him & they give it to the car behind you. There was a couple in our church who were having some medical issues. My hubby & I sent them some money anonymously. Love helping others out & doing good. Firm believer in encouraging others. Everyone goes through trials at some point in their lives. We could all use hugs, pats on the back & just simple prayers. I’ll be on the look out for ways to send the elevator down!

    Blessings 🙂

  33. Jennifer, I loved the movie too. How wonderful you saw it with your Dad. I am not a journalist by trade, but maybe I should have been. I immediately started checking out the facts of the movie. Plus I wanted to know more about his relationship with his Mom.

    I love the line you used above, ” If you’re lucky enough to do well, it’s your responsibility to send the elevator back down.” I hope I remember it.

    Thank you for sharing.

  34. I just read your bio for a first time in a while. Ha! I didn’t know you were a mime at one time. I’d like to hear a story on your blog about that! 🙂

    Who has sent elevators down to me? Who can I send an elevator down to? These are GREAT questions to ponder as we are to be grateful and do unto others as we would have done to us. These are questions I don’t often consider. Thank you for spurring me on to do so!

  35. SUCH AN AWESOME reminder of What Would Jesus Do – How would Jesus Act in this or that situation asking NOTHING in return. After my husbands death this past June 2017 and then just recently inviting my sister who is recovering from Encephalitis and has some brain damage from this infection into my home to live for awhile. I asked my dear husband (beloved spirit) what should I do -HE SENT BACK – “JUST LOVE HER”.