John and Jamie Miles

Yesterday, I attended a funeral for Andrea Williams’ father in Buford, GA.  The return trip put me in Madison just about suppertime, so I called my friend John Miles to see if we could connect for dinner.  We did, and I’m so glad we were able to get together.

John and I practiced law together in Atlanta.  In fact, before I was even admitted to the bar, John handled an appearance in court for some friends of mine.  John and I were like-minded in so many ways — both committed to practicing law in a way that honored God, both conservative in our theology, our politics, our worldviews.  It was only natural that we would become friends as well as colleagues.

When I was ordained in 1994, John and his wife Jamie made the trip up to Easley, SC.  We’ve exchanged Christmas cards and year-end letters, and had miscellaneous other contacts over the years, but it dawned on me last night that my ordination was the last time we had actually seen each other face to face in 16 years.  I could hardly believe that was true.  Their son Jake, who played on the floor as a baby during the ordination service, is now a scrapping young man with an athletic build and a winsome smile.

They’ve done well over those years.  They have two more beautiful children, Hannah Kate (9) and Joe (7).  I’ve seen their pictures as they’ve grown, but it was wonderful to get to see the vivacious personalities connected to those sweet faces.  And it felt so good to catch up with John and Jamie.

A decade ago, John began a mediation firm (www.milesmediation.com).  Under his capable leadership, that firm has grown and now employs 21 mediators.  More than the tangible success, I was completely taken by John’s view of mediation as a form of ministry.  He recounted story after story of clients who needed mediation because something in thier life was broken and they needed healing.  John prays with them, and as God enables, shares the good news that Jesus came to heal their brokenness.

John has also developed a more traditional ministry in those years, preaching and teaching at his church, leading a men’s Bible study, visiting and praying for others as asked to do so. 

All of this developed a bit surprisingly for Jamie.  She says she tought she was marrying Mike Meyers and found out she had married Billy Graham. 🙂  But she’s grown in her faith, too, and is a wonderfully supportive wife for her adventuresome husband and a deeply committed mother to her children.  She gave me a card that says she’s a “columnist, humourist and freelance writer”  (www.jamiemiles.com).  I wish I had learned more about that.  Maybe next time I pass through Madison.

It was a long day of travel.  I thank God for this refreshing and inspiring stop in the midst of it.  And I thank Him for the Johns and Jamies of this world, making a positive difference for the Kingdom of God where they live, where they work, where they worship.

Father, you’ve filled my life up with good people like John and Jamie.  Thank you.  Please continue to bless them and make them blessings to others.

gkr1996 posted at 2010-11-18 Category: Personal