“Just Mike” an appreciation by Dan Strange
To the Oak Hill family and all those who knew Mike Ovey, here’s what I had the privilege of saying at his funeral.
We loved him because he was just Mike. A wonderful and weird best possible gift to Christ’s church. A true steward of the mysteries of God.
Exciting, excitable, enigmatic, exasperating. Our leader and inspiration. My partner-in-crime. My mate. An utterly unique complex combination of juxtapositions and contradictions that explain the extraordinary outpouring of grief and gratitude.
He was just Mike, both scarily organized and disorganized.
We sat in awe at his ordered and forensic mind, the way he could break down an argument into tiny pieces, summarise the essence of a long conversation.
Distinguish, distinguish, distinguish.
He was the best kind of systematic theologian seeing implications and applications of biblical truth that no-one else seemed to be able to see. In his own words, he made doctrine ‘sexy’. His verve and joy were totally infectious. Towering brilliance. A theological savant.
But just Mike. One of my students prayed last week, ‘O Lord, we thank you that we know where Mike is now’, and I thought, ‘that’s more than I ever did’. Well, that’s not true. I did know. For as countless people have testified in the last few weeks, he was with them, listening to them, advising them, being an advocate for them, being lavishingly kind to them. Mike was time rich, time extravagant, time ludicrous.
He never quite got the idea that the purpose of an ‘action point’ was actually to do something. And yet he was so often the quickest off the mark in a pastoral crisis, doing all he could above and beyond. Just Mike.
He was just Mike, both totally predictable and unpredictable.
See our full list of tributes to Mike Ovey here