Following his election to the Missouri House of Representatives, Kevin Wilson created the column "Standing In the Gap" as a way to keep his constituents informed of what was happening in Jefferson City. The column grew over the years, not only keeping the people informed but also providing Kevin the opportunity to voice his opinions on politics and the state of the nation at large.
Over time, Kevin also used this forum to share his beliefs, as well as challenge his readers to make a difference. Hundreds of columns later, this will be the last column under this heading. On Tuesday, June 8, 2021, Kevin won his battle with illness, and joined friends and family members who were waiting for him in Heaven. Though we are in no way the writers he was, we thought it fitting to write one final column.
For those of you who truly knew Kevin, none of what we are sharing should be a surprise. Service was his life: service to his God, his country, his community and his family. Since his passing, we have received many messages from those he helped in one way or another. Many of these were totally unknown to any of us, because he didn't do it for the recognition but because he truly loved to help people.
Several words come to mind when talking about him: committed, passionate, loyal, and driven. He was driven to always give his best, to go the extra mile. He was one of the hardest-working people you could ever find. His commitment to his faith and his family propelled him to be involved in areas where he believed he could make a difference, and he felt it was his duty to do so. His loyalty to his country was never wavering, even when he disagreed, which he often did, with how the country was moving. He was fiercely passionate about all those things he believed in. Lukewarm was never a word used about him.
Kevin didn't just talk the talk; he walked the walk. For every column written or speech given, there was an activity or job he willingly participated in, whether cutting trees in Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina, to flipping pancakes at a service breakfast, to holding a baby at a clinic in West Africa while it got a vaccination, he lived to serve others. He didn't do this for the recognition, except maybe the smile on the baby's face when he gave it the lollipop after the shot.
Our request to you, if you were his friend, enjoyed his columns, or benefited in some way from something he did: emulate his life of service. Find a cause you can be passionate about, something that will benefit others. Give your time, your money, your love to this. If you have trouble thinking of something, let us know, I am sure we can find one for you.
Only when we as individuals realize it is up to us to make a difference, can a difference truly be made. He took the title "Standing in the Gap" from Ezekiel, which looked for someone to intercede on behalf of others. His time to stand in the gap is over. It is time now time for someone else to take up the cause and keep it going. This is the legacy of Kevin Wilson. Please don't let it die.
Melody, Sean, and Patrick Wilson
Kevin Wilson was a former state representative that was born in Goodman and lived in Neosho. Opinions expressed are those of the author's family.