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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

In Loving Memory...

Grace is no respecter of persons. Neither is God. God covers anyone with His grace IF they call out to him (see Salvation post).
Often we look at someone and consciously or not, decide they are not worthy of grace. Or we decide they aren’t saved (why we think we’re God is beyond me).

Take Mike for example. 

He was a man saved by grace.

And boy did he need that grace (By human standards. By God’s, we equally need it).

Looking at Mike, it would be easy to see the Biker Tattoos and notice he was rough around the edges. Not at all how many think a seasoned Christian should look…or act. 

But he was a Christian for many years. His rough edges only highlighted the Cross of Calvary and provided hope to those without any…he was a walking testament that God can and will save anyone!

For those who looked past Mike, or snubbed their noses at his rough edges, they missed out on a great man…a secretly incredible man (check out “Love Does” by Bob Goff) working undercover for God’s kingdom.

You will never see Mike’s name in lights or read about him in the Newspaper (unless you’re reading the recent obituaries) but the things he did, he did from the heart and not for praise or recognition.

Let me tell you a little about Mike, then you decide if you see the stamp of God in his life.

After raising three kids, he and his wife adopted three more.

But there were numerous other kids over the years that benefited from his charity as well.

Like me…though I’m not a kid.

When my own father was ill, he helped build fences to keep the horses corralled. 

When my father passed away, he became my surrogate father, loving me as he would his own.

But none of that really tells you who he was…though they are nice things.

A few weeks before going to be with his Savior (Jesus Christ), he did one last act of kindness. 

Though sick, tired, in pain and losing strength by the day, Mike knew a little girl who needed a flute for band. 

Mike didn’t think to himself, “How am I supposed to help? I’m on my death bed.”

He didn’t say, “Why can’t your own dad provide?”

He didn’t even let things like money hinder him (Mike had been a hair dresser and had to quit working as the chemo raced through his veins trying to beat the cancer at killing him). 

No, Mike saw a need and he went to work trying to fix it.

Speaking of Mr. Fix It. Mike was like my own dad in many ways, especially in being a connoisseur of junk. Things the majority of people throw out, people like Mike collect like priceless art. He would then take this “junk” and piece it together to make something work. It was not only resourceful but remarkable what he could make work. 

But it wasn’t from Mikes “junk” pile that he produced a flute for this young girl. 

Mike went to work doing internet research and phone finagling until he located a person willing to trade one of his guitars for the flute. 

Now you might say he was being generous because he was about to die and he didn’t need that guitar as much as the girl needed a flute. You’re wrong for two reasons: 1) Almost ALL Mike’s family likes guitars and would have wanted it for their own collection upon his passing. 2) He would have done this even if he wasn’t on his death bed…it was just the sort of thing Mike did.

Mike left behind a lot of legacies…some good…some not so good.

Just ask his family.

He wasn’t perfect…no he needed grace. 

And it was grace he received from a loving God who gave His all so that none of us ever have to worry about our “rough edges”.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV

In Loving Memory of Mike Avey, Oct. 16, 2016 

Mike, can’t wait to see you and my own dad some day in heaven…until then, you both are greatly missed.

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