TOMBALL, Texas -- Even at 70 miles per hour, you feel its presence.
It’s the enormous, 125-foot tall cross that you might have noticed in the Tomball area. It’s right at the Grand Parkway and 249.
Paula Whitaker is hoping you feel her son Ryan’s presence, too.
“God's timing is perfect. Our timing is not,” Whitaker said. “I lost my son Ryan when he was 25.”
Ten years ago, Whitaker said didn’t know what to do. Ryan fell ill after an injury on the job and died shortly thereafter.
The answer for Whitaker came in a spiritual trip to Tennessee and the Carolinas.
“Within three days, I saw three beautiful crosses similar to this one,” she said.
She saw a 110-foot one but felt she wanted something larger. She started a foundation in Ryan’s honor, then years later, at the end of 2016, she approached the pastor of the River of Praise Church in Tomball. She did that after securing approval from Harris County for the cross.
“God really put that in my mind to leave a legacy for my son by doing the things that he wanted to, and that was helping people,” Whitaker said.
The legacy went up at the church on Palm Sunday.
“This wasn't an accident, either,” she said. “God plans things, and this happened to be the perfect time when we got finished with the cross.”
It’s 36 feet deep and 10 feet wide. It cost the Ryan Paul Whitaker Foundation more than $300,000, too.
The cross is now the second-largest within a 250 mile radius of here.
“I hope he and the Lord are saying, 'Well done, Mom. You did a good job,'” Whitaker said. “It's not so much about me, but about God, and it's also to honor (Ryan) and his love for people.”
There’s an early morning Easter Sunday mass at 7 a.m. by the cross.