Last week I was in Dothan, Alabama with my daughter Amanda and grandson Charlie. Amanda and her husband Brantley’s home finally sold after six months. Amanda was there to pack and move the remainder of their furniture and belonging. I was there to babysit my grandson Charlie (tough job but somebody has to do it!).
On Tuesday, November 1, I went to get Thai food take out. Thai food is interesting but that is another blog post. On my way to the restaurant I was stopped by what turned out to be a funeral procession. I knew immediately that it was a different sort of funeral procession because people were lined up along the roadside waving flags and holding signs. This was the homecoming procession for fallen soldier, Lance Cpl. Jason Barfield who had died in combat on October 24, 2011.
As I sat there (I would have gotten out and stood in honor but Charlie was in the back seat sleeping and I didn’t want to leave him alone in the car), several thoughts came to mind.
First of all I was just sad. I was sad for the life of this twenty-two year old whose life was cut short. I was sad for his family and friends who were experiencing a sadness that only God and those who have been there understand completely. And while I did not know this family, I found my eyes filling with tears of sadness for their pain and loss.
Secondly, I felt thankful that God in His sovereignty had put me there at that moment to experience this event. It is so easy in this busy world to forget that every day there are young men and women who are putting their lives in mortal danger. It is so easy to forget the ultimate sacrifice made by these people and their families. It is easy to forget that I we owe a great debt to the veterans of this country and the grace of God that I am able to wake up and breathe free air each morning.
Today, Veteran’s Day 2011, I ask myself, “What should I do with the sacrifice of Lance Cpl. Jason Barfield and all of those who have and are serving in active duty for our country?” It is not enough to be stirred if we are not moved to action by the stirring. What action steps can those of us who are not in the military take?
Remember to pray. Pray for our soldiers. Pray for our veterans. Pray for our nation and its leaders. Our founding fathers certainly believed in prayer. Each of us can enlist in the military by regularly assuming the battle position on our knees.
Remember to serve. It is so easy to join the crowd of grumbler who can easily make a list of what’s wrong with our country but who never list ways to make it better. Here’s a starting point for the making-it-better list: Serve in a ministry, Share a kind word, Give a gift, and on and on the list can go.
My prayer is that I would be found faithful with this high-priced gift of freedom that I have received.