I had the last handful of dirt. Many of our dear Native American friends had led the way. They really loved my Karen.

As I threw mine into that six-foot hole, I spoke the three words engraved inside our wedding rings. "Til Jesus comes." And then, quietly - "See you soon, baby."

I know I will.

My first hint that things were changing was the Storm Troopers suddenly patrolling the parking lot. Then I saw the man with the floor-length wolf tail. Followed by seeing X-Men in the hotel lobby.

It's a stunner. They call it Firefall. For a few nights in February, Horsetail Falls at Yosemite National Park appears to have turned into cascading molten lava!

In reality, it's a phenomenon created as the setting sun reaches just the right angle to shine on that waterfall. And that reflection creates a breathtaking "firefall."

Our grandson's on a mission to Asia today! Literally, retracing much of my first overseas ministry trip many years ago.

When he texted about his landing there, I had a flashback. Of the people at the gate.

As I emerged from customs, here was this sea of people, waving signs with people's names on them. Folks they were looking for. Family members. Limo passengers. Business associates. Best friends.

It was Valentine's Day, "long ago and in a galaxy far away" (actually, I was in college). The day I risked it all to get the girl I loved.

I couldn't understand why this vivacious brunette named Karen couldn't see how awesome I was. (I've since figured out why - I wasn't anywhere near as awesome as I thought I was.) Knowing if I pushed it, I'd ruin it, I had settled for what we agreed was a "brother-sister relationship." Well, she had settled.

A ten-year-old boy who never should have waded out in Lake Michigan without knowing how to swim. Me. I can still remember the terror and helplessness of going under for the second time.

I'm alive today because someone on the shore saw me drowning. He jumped in and saved my life.

Then there were those 33 Chilean miners, trapped for 69 days in a collapsed mine a half mile down. Until that rescue capsule was lowered down that newly-created shaft. The rescuers brought every miner out alive.

That's what I want to be. Because an awful lot of people don't really like the kind of Christian they're seeing. And that's a big deal. Because it's keeping them from Jesus.

The woman I loved since I was 19 was that different kind of Christian. You could tell by the mountain of tributes I received after she went to be with Jesus a little over two years ago. Those tributes had a common theme - "she made me feel..." They would finish the sentence with words like "loved...heard...accepted...worth something...believed in...I mattered."

It started out as just another day driving a school bus for Ponderosa Elementary. By that night, Kevin McKay would be hailed as "the bus driver from heaven."

In between, the most deadly wildfire in California's history exploded.

On the morning of November 8, McKay had just dropped off his students when he saw the smoke. Ten minutes later, the evacuation order. Ultimately - and quickly - nearly the entire community would be consumed by flames.

I owe Native Americans so much. We all do.

They helped the Pilgrims stay alive.

They helped create our Constitution with their model of representative government. They helped in every war our country's fought - in larger numbers per capita than any other ethnic group in America.

And they helped me.

The First Americans. The forgotten Americans. Native Americans.

Our boys wore clothes with labels way outside my budget. Because of the generosity of a local doctor and his wife. He had first been a major medical blessing to us with the excellent care he provided. Then he and his wife blew us away with these bags full of cool clothes that their boys had outgrown.

There was a special connection that led to us being dinner guests in each other's home. I don't remember the dinner at their house, but I'll never forget the conversation.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)

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