This year, for Christmas I have received a gift beyond all gifts that I have ever received in my life. It is my great privilege to pass this gift on to you.
In July, I flew to the Orange County airport and rented a car to go spend time with my precious friend, Richard Mull, the king of comedy of the Gospel Revolution. It was a difficult trip on many levels. Richard and I both knew it would be the last time we would see each other here on this earth.
In addition to the obvious difficulty of my trip, there was another difficulty that I was acutely aware of but had no clue what to expect.
Richard’s wife, Eva, had not been at all accepting of Richard’s understanding of the gospel. Eva was very concerned about her husband, as she loved him very much. Eva was deeply disturbed about this “Gospel Revolution” her husband had gotten involved in and had fully participated in for over 15 years.
Only recently did I learn that heated discussions took place as often as two or three times a month. On one occasion, Richard told Eva, “I do not have to believe!” To which Eva replied, “You are crazy! You are a crazy man!” So naturally, meeting Eva at this time was an uncertain expectation for me because I, of course, was the one who taught Richard most of these things.
Eva was so very polite and, under the stress of the situation, could not have been more gracious to me. Eva understood in spite of their disagreements that I was Richard’s best friend, and she respected me for that.
I had never heard Eva’s story as we never once had a conversation during the time Richard and I were friends. A hand full of times, Eva would answer the phone when I called the house. Each time she was very polite, but we never once engaged in a conversation of any kind on any level.
A few days after my visit, Richard passed away. Eva called me from Richard’s hospice bedside in their home soon after. Her stress, anxiety and brokenness was palpable over the phone. I think for the first time I realized just how much Eva loved Richard.
During almost 20 years of friendship with Richard, I did not know Eva Mull, even though Richard and I spoke almost every day by phone.
Being that I was Richard’s best friend, Eva requested that I speak at Richard’s funeral. Honestly, it was my hope that I would not have to return. However, this was Richard’s wife, his widow, who was asking. Even though I did try, I could not say no. I accepted. Eva said she would give me $500.00 for my expenses.
On August the 6th, my new book, ONE, The gospel according to Mike arrived. Richard Mull had done so much to support me and the expense of publishing this book. He was extremely excited about it. My greatest desire was to hand him a copy personally. Instead, I had to put the first copy of my book down and catch a flight to go speak at Richard’s funeral, on the very same day.
Richard’s funeral was atop a beautiful hill in a large chapel to accommodate the number that attended. Most of them were Korean, as Eva is of Korean decent herself. Eva had ministered for some 20 years or more in the Korean churches of southern California. Richard’s family and coworkers were there also.
One of his coworkers tried to speak and was overcome to the point his wife had to finish for him. He explained how Richard knew his entire family, their names, their birthdays and he never missed a one. This was true for everyone in Richard’s life.
I spoke for 10 minutes and I can not remember a single word I said, though it seemed to be appreciated by all.
I think it is a tradition in Korean families to provide a dinner after a funeral. Eva invited me to come. During the meal, she presented me with a check for $500.00. I handed it back and told her I simply could not accept it. I flew back to Houston that evening.
Eva and I had to communicate during the next few weeks to complete a business situation Richard and I were in together.
Then one evening, I got a call from Eva in an excited voice. Eva explained how she had decided to keep Richard’s car and sell hers. After getting into Richard’s car and starting it, one of the CD’s from The Book of Romans Revealed series started playing automatically. Apparently, it was what Richard was listening to the last time he drove his car.
“Michael, Michael!” ” I did not know. I did not know.” Eva said. I inquired as to just what she did not know, as I was getting acquainted with Eva’s Korean accent. ” I did not know that walking in darkness meant you did not know where you are going!” She explained how she was taught that it meant being in sin.
Since that time, Eva has listened to Hebrews Revealed and Debunked, the one I recorded at our first convention here in Houston. She had listened to each CD more than 5 times along with many other of my CDs.
The calls I get from Eva are filled with such joy at what she is learning. A few have been with her weeping uncontrollably as she talks about what she has learned. I could detail each call, but I think most of you know kinda how it goes.
Eva’s ministry over the years has been in song. Eva has released many CD’s of Gospel music of her singing while playing her guitar. She has traveled on many foreign mission trips and was known widely as a “prayer warrior.”
My latest call from Eva was one during which she was crying uncontrollably. She had just learned that the book of Psalms, a book replete with prayer, a book Jesus identified as scripture, was fulfilled. The burden of “required prayer” was falling off her shoulders like mighty shackles from a once bound slave. “I do not have to pray! I do not have to pray!” she repeated over and over.
On this call, Eva said as she was crying, “I wish I had known when Richard was here. I wish I could tell him I am sorry I did not understand. I told him on many occasions that he was totally crazy. And now, I AM CRAZY!” That was followed by a big laugh.
Without knowing the custom of gospel revolutionaries selecting a title. Eva says she is, Mrs. Fractal. That recently changed to The Queen of Hebrews!
Eva has not spoken to anyone other than me in the Gospel Revolution, not even my office.
So, as a Christmas gift, I would like to introduce you to “The Queen of Hebrews”, Eva Mull!
And to Eva, I take great joy in introducing you to your new family who loved your husband beyond words and will love you just as much!
Merry Christmas everyone!