Our country is an absolute mess, divided on all fronts.
You know what I'm talking about so I don't have to list it. There is not one decent American, of any color or political leaning, who isn't horrified, shocked, heartbroken and grieved at the senseless violence we saw this week. The conventions are still to come and I really fear the worst.
Thursday, we laid to rest a wonderful human being. This man made a positive and eternal impact on thousands of lives in this community. Didn't matter what color you were, what ethnic culture you celebrated, or what gender you identified with. Didn't even matter if you were Christian, although by the time you left his presence you very likely would be. All that mattered to him was that you were in need of help, whether it be food, prayer, encouragement, or the answer to eternal life.
In the early 80s, he felt the call of God on his life and enrolled in a Bible school. Upon graduation, he said he sensed God's direction with two simple words, "help them." Leaving behind a successful career and comfortable income, he started Loaves & Fishes Ministry.
In 1986, with my little boy in school and my husband earning a good salary, I didn't need to work. It was time to serve somewhere and this ministry tugged at my heart strings. I was new "in the Word" as we say here in Tulsa, new to church life, new to the idea of ministry. I was in awe of people like Milo & Marian and young enough that my sense of social justice still burned with innocent passion. I began volunteering with L&F, at first doing simple tasks in the warehouse and soon using my skills in data processing in the office. My husband worked in tech support management at a computer company. When L&F had some computer issues, like any good wife I volunteered his services to help. My goodness, that's how it all began...
Milo & Al were kindred spirits from the git-go, but between then and now, our lives interwove in many ways. There was even a stretch of time where life took us in directions that our paths didn't cross. The love & friendship was always there, but duties were different. I don't remember the year, but Marian & Milo came back into our life and the friendship was rekindled. Looking back now, it's evident that three years ago God set Phase Two in motion of His plan for Milo & Al, but that's another story.
And so here we are, thirty years after a young mom volunteered her husband to fix a computer, we are now tasked with ensuring that Milo's mission to "help them" continues.
Milo left behind an amazing legacy and example of how to walk the talk. He didn't do it with lectures, social media rants, snarky memes, violence or street protests. He simply obeyed two simple commands:
Love one another as I have loved you.
After the turmoil of the week nationally and emotions of the week personally, I'm encouraged by some other scriptures and maybe they will speak to you, too:
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Again Jesus said,