This is going to be the hardest “profile” that I have done to date. Not because of lack of things to say, but because I know it is going to be very emotional, not only for me but also for many people that read it.
I first became aware of LaVoy like many of us did, through his informative and personal videos letting us know about his passion for his family, his ranch, his country and for the Constitution that we are all trying to defend. I already had a great respect and appreciation for this all American Cowboy when I finally had he honor and pleasure of meeting him in person that first trip down to The Resource Center.
The first time I saw this rancher/cowboy was when he spoke at a press conference. He stood there calmly, full of heart and God. I am not exaggerating at all when I say this, you could see and feel the Lord’s spirit in this man. He spoke with integrity; each and every word had truth behind it. This man, with the tan cowboy hat, holster with the old fashioned belt, the kind that had bullets lining the worn tan leather (reminding me of the old westerns with Clint Eastwood I used to watch with my daddy), his glasses giving him that perfect grandpa look…spoke with such intelligence and conviction that you hung on every syllable let alone every word. He spoke in such a manner you wanted to learn from him, you didn’t want him to stop talking. When the press conference was over I found myself thinking about what it must have been like growing up in his house, learning from this gentle man with the quiet yet firm intelligence, unknowingly, in a way, I was about to learn, due to circumstances that I wish never happened, by reading stories from children.
The next time I saw LaVoy was when we all went to observe some events taking place off the Resource Center grounds. Once again, LaVoy spoke to the press and the patriots that had gathered with care and emotion about what was happening, this man FELT for the people of this county, FELT their fear, their heartache, their injustices. He ached and longed to help them break free of all of this.
You see one thing that people seem to forget about all of the men and women that were there, especially about LaVoy, they were NOT anti-government, they were just wanting a constitutional government. LaVoy ALWAYS said, and with much passion…that we need the federal government, but we need it in the way it was structured and intended by our founding fathers. That it WORKS that way. He loved our country and he loved the Lord. Those two things went hand in hand for him and they do for many others and myself. “One nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all” Remember that?
When I finally got to sit down with LaVoy, it was in a little office shortly before I had to leave. We spent some time talking some small talk about our families and his ranch, the work he did with troubled foster children, which is amazing! It led to some talk about some things that I was going through with a troubled stepdaughter. He was so helpful and kind, telling me she needed love and prayer. God put me in her life for a reason.
We continued to talk about my reason for visiting the Resource Center, to see for myself what was going on and dispel all the false reports. I explained to LaVoy that my own dad had said some very hurtful things to me when he found out that I was coming, that if I got arrested or whatever, that I would be getting what was coming to me…that he was disgusted and disappointed in me. I explained to him that I thought my dad would have been supportive because he is so protective of his 2nd amendment rights. LaVoy told me that was a shame because my dad had a daughter he could be very proud of and that he should be. We prayed a short prayer together and took a picture together. He had to get going and so did I, but I really didn’t want to, I wanted to stay and talk to this rancher/cowboy for hours and hours.
I gave him a hug and told him that I would be back for a visit in a few days. He said he looked forward to it…and you know what? He wasn’t just saying that. He really was. He loved people. We spoke a few times in-between even if just to say hello.
When I returned with Matt 4 days later, the Center was buzzing with the excitement of all the ranchers coming. I caught up with LaVoy at the chow hall. He smiled and came right over and gave me a hug. I introduced him to my husband and Merlin, a little pomchi we had adopted from an abusive situation. Merlin had growled at every single male that tried to pet him when I was holding him, but no way…not LaVoy, he reached right out and started petting Merlin, not one little growl. Merlin even knew this man would never hurt him (not that any of the others would) and had a gentle and loving spirit, that he was VERY special. We caught up for a little bit, and I showed him the scarf that my stepdaughter had made for him as well. He wanted to put it on right away, well…we had a bit of trouble and a bit of a laugh at trying to get the scarf over his hat. After a bit of a struggle we got it there and in it’s proper place around his neck. I wonder where that scarf is now? We sat at the little bench there among the supplies while LaVoy and Matt talked about his ranch back home and what he had been doing the past few days. He was excited that his wife was out for a visit; you could see the love for her in his face and eyes! (I had the pleasure of meeting her briefly later in the day. They are such a wonderful couple. They “fit” well. God does so wonderful when we let Him!!!) He got up from his seat and said “Well, I have a lot to do before the meeting so I will see you later, if not make sure you come and say good-bye before you leave.” I promised to do so. Another hug, a handshake, Merlin got another pet, looking a little disappointed I might say, and he went off to take care of business…the business of another step towards freedom.
LaVoy understands what these ranchers are going through, the BLM interfered with his ranching as well…he related to them, and they trust him. You can see the camaraderie between them during the signing, the trust when he told them that they would stand beside them the whole step of the way.
I looked for LaVoy before we went to leave the next day, but my guess is he was off spending some much needed time with his lovely bride. So when we got to where I had a good signal I sent him a message apologizing promising to visit again soon. He replied…little did I know that is the last time I would “speak” with this warrior for God, the Constitution, and We the People.
As I heard the news from my friend Pete, and watched him being arrested, not knowing exactly who was shot yet…my heart was sinking. Later on when I found out Ryan Bundy was shot in the shoulder but alive I breathed a sigh of thanks and relief. I prayed. Then I heard, and I sat, and I cried…my husband had tears…my stepdaughter, who had never met any of them started to…I looked at Matt and asked, “Did they really say LaVoy?” They didn’t say LaVoy!!! Yes…they did. I looked up, and asked why? I just shook my head and walked up the stairs. I looked at my bible and asked again why? Through my tears and through my heartache, I heard the Lord say quietly, I needed my angel home; his work on earth is done, in his death more will be.
I got mad; it isn’t fair…it isn’t right! As I heard the lies being told, that I knew were lies, charging the police/agents/mercs…whoever they were…having a hidden gun…all of these things that the king of lies planted out there, I got disgusted and determined with a quiet anger at the injustice of this. The execution of a good Christian, loving, lawful, man…and them trying to somehow justify it. This is what the Lord was whispering to my heart…others were outraged, others were mad…things would happen. In his death more will be done.
I know he has touched many with his life, sadly, like many great men, he will touch many more with his death. Carry on his message, his love for the Lord, his country, family, the fresh air, the Constitution and the freedom it brings.
These things will honor him and his family. These things will keep him alive for generations to come, these things are what he lived for and died for…he also died for us. A friend of mine and I were talking as I was writing this, I was going to quote her but I can’t remember exactly what she said, but it was perfect. LaVoy lived a lot like Jesus, he was gentle and kind, he was a teacher, he taught the truth and what he believed with patience and love and he was executed for that. Thank you Sandra, you captured that beautifully!
I know a lot of people didn’t get the chance to meet this beautiful soul, I will be forever grateful that I did. Not only did he teach me, help me, and guide me through his videos, but personally in my everyday life by our little talks.
That day, January 26, 2016, we lost a hero; his family lost so much more…I ache for them. I lost someone that I am EXTREMELY proud to call my friend, and though he is no longer here with us my heart carries the brand of one cowboy named LaVoy Finicum…we will meet again my friend. Thank you.