So now I will give you a little story that occurred today (2018/04/02) on getting to know folks. I was at the local McDonald's getting my coffee (senior coffee) and breakfast burrito (my normal Tuesday morning breakfast) when I saw a couple and the lady was wearing a Ponca City (Oklahoma for those who are geographically challenged) sweatshirt. I asked if she was from Ponca and of course she was but she was raised in Blackwell (Greg Clifford has family connections and old memories of Blackwell). I told them I was raised across the river from Ponca and they asked me where. I explained Shidler but really Grainola is home. He stated his uncles lived in Grainola and were Paul and Arnold Jones (Arnold was a highly decorated Marine) at which I replied I hauled hay for Paul (a pilot and my first airplane ride and that is another story) for 3 summers. Did I mention that Paul was working for E.C. Mullendore who was murdered and there is a book about the murder? Well back to the subject. Hugh Allen Jones (Arnold’s son and a Marine as well) was one of five in my first 8 grades of school and of course I knew the rest of the family. Then they asked if I ever get back up around home and I said I got close this weekend when I went to my sisters’ house in Perry for Easter lunch (lunch is what city folks call dinner). She asked who my sister was, and I told her Debbie Schaefer and she informed me that my nephew Richard Crow (Debbie’s son) married her first cousin, Nancy (from Blackwell). And the story goes on and on but here is the point. If you don’t engage folks, you might miss finding out some interesting facts and you might find someone who is a near relative or a relative that you never met. Then above all that you might, just might, get an opportunity to tell them about Jesus and what He means to you (remember Easter).
I have never been disappointed when I have shown interest in getting to know a stranger. Of course my favorite one is when Preston, my son with down syndrome, was at McDonalds and he saw this big burly guy with tattoos and a leather jacket with lots of patches who just looked down right scary. As it turned out he was not from Hell's Angels but was a pretty nice guy. As Preston approached him and said, "Hey man" he dropped to one knee and looked Preston in the eye and they became friends. Of course Preston hugged him and they became instant best friends. Did I mention he had a beard and mustache and big white teeth which made him look like an arm pit with teeth when he smiled?
Well, what do you learn in the Osage?
- All folks are the same but different, they want to be friends
- don't judge a book by its cover or its tattoos
- Life is a lot more fun when you engage our differences in a positive manor
Thanks for listening,