Exclusive to Unified Patriots. – ed.
Christ came to undertake a journey for us that we cannot make ourselves – the journey through His grace to the countenance and forgiveness of our Father.
It was one year ago today that I held my 12 year old son’s cold hand as I watched the pulse slowly disappear in his neck, slowly reckoning with the truth that my son had actually departed two days before. Â At that time my only refuge was a trust in God – that through God’s grace my son’s life would have somehow made a difference in this sorrowful world we inhabit.
This weekend, a portion of my son’s ashes are being scattered at West Point, the school he had hoped to attend. Â Another portion is being scattered here at a lake in Oklahoma that my son loved so much – where he built his last snowman during his last Christmas with his uncle. Â Where he flew the seaplane and discovered the freedom and joy of aviation. Â Where he learned to envy the courtly southern charm evinced by so many members of his remote Oklahoma family.
Many times in my life I have tried to reckon with the truth. Â Perhaps I should never bother, because in the most fundamental of ways, the truth usually comes and reckons with me.
Weeks after my son died, I was elected as a minor local party official; a process I had engaged in partly to give him a further civics education and set a civic example for him.
It felt like active denial at the time, but I engaged in building a project I hoped would deliver some good into the world around me and allow me to defer dealing with my son’s death. Â At the same time, I was invited to join a circle of Â online VRWC activists who changed my life, and eventually became Unified Patriots.
Unified Patriots is a circle of people from all walks of life who will lift you up. Â Join, read, write, or simply squawk as I do and they still lift you up. Â Until you realize that you are surrounded by grace, and don’t need to feel worthy to reach for God’s grace.
When I left California for Oklahoma a week ago, I had only one thing on my mind: to show up for my brother’s crappie tournament and do some fishing, some ‘fine dining’ and revel in the fellowship of other honest yet profane men.
God had other plans for me.
I had some warning, as before I left I adjusted my schedule a bit so I could attend a special American Majority training being held tomorrow just blocks from where I grew up.
Saturday night, things started to change, and change fast. Â I’d invited an activist I’d met online to join our gang for the fish fry on Saturday night after our rounds of crappie fishing. Â Mike McCutchin appeared on schedule with an appetite and a plan. Â What a plan! Â Mike is the GOP Treasurer for Tulsa county, an ordained minister, and finance director for a major church in Tulsa.
Before he left that night, Mike had extracted a promise that I would teach a PROCINCT class sometime the following week. Â That turned into 2 classes (and almost a 3rd) and a luncheon with the GOP county chair for Tulsa – where we celebrated and discussed Tea Party/912 victories in taking over the county party. Â Where we celebrated and discovered a common understanding that recruiting new workers for the party works better if those workers are invited to govern the party rather than simply volunteer and work for the party.
What emerged from our conversations was that recruiting efforts succeed with a totally different class of people if the recruiting emphasis is on governing the party rather than simply finding volunteers or workers for the party. Â You get a more active sort of activist. Â One that understands more about management, public relations, marketing and communications. Â Exactly the sort of activist we need to be recruiting.
Last night, I learned that these learned Tulsa activists are scheming about how Â to carry their message and methods to Oklahoma county, the largest county in the state. Â I think their message will ‘take’ well there.
PROCINCT has prospered in less than a year, Â even if monetary contributions have not been equal to its needs. Â People are starving for knowledge on how to use it, even if it’s not a VoterVault or PDI type application (or perhaps because it isn’t). Â PROCINCT now has 16 million voters online; that’s 10% of the US electorate. Â Not bad for 9 months of service.
Unified Patriots was born in adversity and has grown to fill a serious need in the online activist spaces. Â If there is deliverance for this country, Â UP will be one of the primary instruments of that deliverance. Â If you are not familiar with UP, stick around; become involved; write, or just squawk as I do. Â This community will lift you up, grind you, polish you, and advance you.
While the world bustles elsewhere, quiet reflection is the order of the day on a grand lake, God’s creation, in the northeast corner of Oklahoma. Â A breeze ripples the surface of the water, a tell that the seaplane may bounce if you try to Â land on those cats paws. Â A white bass adds its own ripples as it rises silently for a mosquito. Â A father reflects on his deep, abiding love for a son who made a tragic mistake in his short life – a mistake that he could not recover from, and that his father could not save him from.
My visits from Sorrow are always short, and I am always left with Determination as my constant companion.
The universe blazes with the glory of fathers and sons. Â (a misquote of Baldwin)
The universe blazes this weekend with the glory of a magnificent, merciful Â Father and His Son.
I testify today that nothing I can do, Â say, think, or understand can match the glory we celebrate this weekend. Â I am not worthy to utter His Name.
I testify today that the risen Lord loves me as his lost son and bids me to work in his Name, even if Â I am not worthy.
I testify today that many profane men listen carefully only to other profane men, and we are tasked with carrying his message even if we are not worthy of it.
I testify today to the value of this community of activists that I am a part of – neither am I worthy of them, but they have taken me in anyway.
I testify today that nothing exceeds the love of a Father for his children.
I testify today that there is a Father who can save his child from any mistake.