The EFM Feature

One of the great and unexpected blessings of our little Evangelicals for Mitt operation has been seeing how God’s hand has been at work. And when I say that, I don’t mean politics. God holds the nations in the palm of His hand, and as much as we may think (or may think we know) His will in any given political race or political controversy, we don’t. Our perspective is not eternal, our “wisdom” is foolishness compared to God’s, and we humans often have trouble seeing the nose on our face, much less truly understanding the complexities of our own culture. We do our best — because that is our calling — but we completely depend on God to make things right.
When I say that I’ve seen God’s had at work in our efforts here at EFM, I’m actually talking about our relationships with our LDS readers. We stuck our necks out just a tiny bit to declare unequivocally not just our support for Mitt but also our respect for his faith, and the LDS community responded with what is best described as a tidal wave of love in response. This moved me before I left for Iraq, but it turns out that I’d only experienced half the story. The rest — and the mysterious ways of our God — follow.
When I landed in Iraq, I landed in a remote Forward Operating Base near the Iranian border. There we slightly less than 800 of us in our unit, and we were put in the middle of a hornet’s nest. Al Qaeda controlled the countryside, and Thanksgiving morning, 2007, marked the beginning of a nearly year-long battle to drive them out. We lost many good men, including good friends. It was the hardest year of my life.
As you might imagine, there weren’t many LDS Soldiers in our unit. In fact, there were exactly two active LDS members, plus one who describes himself as Mormon-Catholic-Agnostic (he grew up LDS).
How do I know this? Because two of them were my roommates, and one of them was my paralegal. What were the odds? I didn’t choose my roommates, and I didn’t choose my paralegal, but there they were — assigned to me — after I’d spent the better part of the last year working hand in hand with our dear LDS readers, getting to know a dear LDS family (the extended Romney family), and enduring the occasional slings and arrows from those who opposed our efforts. In fact, one of my roommates had even heard of Evangelicals for Mitt and read some of my posts.
It’s strange, but the instant I learned they were LDS, I knew that we would be brothers — and we were. I like to think that maybe when they learned who I was and what I’d been doing with EFM, they knew they had a friend. And I know they loved me and supported me in a way that’s difficult to describe.
God’s ways are mysterious, but they are good. And even if this EFM effort isn’t politically successful, it has blessed my life.
One final note. When I was gone, my wife organized — working thorugh SixSeeds, a Boston-based charity — Operation Send-a-Box which supplied my entire unit (and everywhere else on our base) with a care package that contained clean sheets, towels, reading material, new DVDs, and other “necessities” to help make our remote base a bit more hospitable. When it was all said and done, 2,500 packages arrived. They came from across the country and even from abroad, but where did the largest shipments come from? Tennessee (where I live), Massachusetts (the home of SixSeeds), and . . . Utah.
So before the political wars heat up again, I wanted to pause for a moment and say thank you. Thank you for enriching our lives. And thank God for the blessing of these relationships.
And now, back to regularly scheduled programming.

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