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Whispers from Heaven

A Story You Haven't Heard
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By Carol Einarsson | 01/09/2011
Category: Whispers from Heaven
 

Two people were murdered this week in Omaha, Nebraska. One made national news, the other didn’t. I’m not exactly sure why the place a person was shot and killed should determine if a story is national news or local news, because a life is a life, and two innocents were taken this week in the town I call home.

You may have heard about Vicki Kaspar, the assistant principal at Millard South High School. She was killed by a student who felt he was wronged. Vicki Kaspar reportedly loved children and served in the public school for decades. She surely touched many lives, and in a very public way. She is being mourned with prayer services held, top stories on every local channel dedicated to the incident that took her life, and citizens being interviewed by the local news about what a great person she was.

But Thursday, there was another tragedy in Omaha that you surely never heard about. A punk kid walked into a Shell Rapid Lube station and killed a man that was just doing his job. A regular Joe, you might say – changing oil, replacing belts, checking tires… just doing his job. This man was Milton Jackson. He touched lives differently than a public school principal. He touched them one at a time, and in a very gentle way.

On Sunday afternoons, if you were lucky enough to take your car in for service, you would see Milton. And while he worked, he’d tell you stories about life, sharing bits of wisdom gained over the course of his life. Quietly and humbly, Milton Jackson touched lives, too.

I never met Milton personally, but I know of a life he touched with his kindness. That person was in my living room when I asked if he’d heard about the shooting at the Shell station. “No! That’s where I go. I hope it wasn’t Milton or Josh!” The first reports I read didn’t name the victim, but I looked up the story and found an update. The victim was, in fact, Milton.

Quietly, my visitor listened as I painfully shared the story that it was, in fact, his friend. He sat stoically, as men will often do, even as little puddles filled my eyes. I ached for his loss, and for the cruel way this life will sometimes reach inside and tear our hearts to bits with the reality of evil.

Response from locals who knew Milton have called him “a gentle soul,” saying that he’d do anything for anyone, and recounting how he would even mow the grass for a small neighborhood restaurant nearby. He and his wife had recently moved, and living close enough to his work, he would often walk to work. Much of his time was spent taking care of his adult, Autistic son.

But the life that he touched, the one sitting in my home that night as I told him the story, said the greatest words of comfort, maybe not even realizing it for a moment. “He was a good Christian man.”

“So,” I said, “We’ll see him again.” And while I never had the pleasure of hearing Milton’s stories, or shaking his hand, I can’t wait to meet him and thank him for taking the time that he did to touch one young man’s life.

I know the news isn’t yet done with the story of the assistant principal, but more important to me, I know I won’t ever forget Milton E Jackson for the kind man he was, leaving this life for the next, quietly and humbly, just as he lived.

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Comments:
eddo
01/11/2011 12:11 am (1)
great tribute and reminder that good people are often taken too soon, even if the news doesn't notice.

:)
laurenh14
01/11/2011 10:32 pm (2)
God Bless Milton E. Jackson, may he RIP. Prayers being said for his family. Hope the killer(s) are captured and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

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