They knew what needed to be done… and they did it. I can’t let the Memorial Day weekend pass without dedicating a post to our heroes who proudly wear the uniforms in service to our great country.
Decoration Day is what the old-timers call it where I’m from. It’s the weekend we put the American flags in the standards at the graves of all the veterans at the cemetery. There’s one at my Dad’s stone; he served in the Army. He drove radars around Germany during the Korean War (I guess somebody had to be in Europe so soon after WWII). Grandpa Webster tried to serve during The Great War but his flat feet kept him out of the opportunity to serve (I guess that explains why I need to wear arch supports in my work boots now).
There’s a part of me that wanted to serve our country in that capacity. But, Vietnam was still an extremely open wound in our nation at that time. It was hard to trust that our leaders wouldn’t drag us into another no-win situation with undescribed goals. I think God will give me a chance to give something to our vets that will inspire many.
I’m in the early stages of co-authoring a book with David Fondren and his son Jay. The primary focus of the story is about how God continually showed up after an IED (improvised explosive device) took both of Jay’s legs while on patrol in Sadr City, Iraq. I’ll share in a later post just how God called me to get involved in this project. Please pray that I will do the book justice as we put the pieces together to inspire many into a deeper relationship with Jesus (consider this a sneak peek).
Jay answered the call to serve his country while he attended Dallas Baptist University, back when the World Trade Center still stood in New York. By the time war was declared Jay had risen in rank to Staff Sergeant. He was the VC (vehicle commander) in the Humvee that was part of the convoy that patrolled Sadr City in an attempt to draw the insurgents out. They had been in some fire fights prior to the explosion. Jay comments that “It wasn’t a question of ‘if’ you were going to be injured, it was ‘how badly’ you’d be hurt.”
The initial shock from the explosion kept Jay from fully realizing what had happened. He kept insisting that ‘his men’ be attended to before he got any attention (now that’s a call to duty). It turned out that the others in his vehicle had only shrapnel injuries (mostly from Jay’s bone fragments). The coma that was induced lasted longer than the doctor’s anticipated, but God remained faithful to the family by His presence. David’s main prayer at the time was that their son would be the same son they knew emotionally; that prayer was answered.
Jay had an immediate impact on fellow injured soldiers while recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center by his positive attitude. This was bolstered by his strong relationship with Jesus Christ that he carried into the battle. 2 Corinthians 1:4 states ‘that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God’ NIV. Jay Fondren has a unique impact on fellow injured soldiers by the outward manifestations of his injuries. They’ll listen to him before they’ll believe anything I could ever tell them.
Jay now works with the Veterans Administration to ensure we fully support our returning soldiers (he knows what needs to be done… and he’s doing it). What about you? Where is the Holy spirit leading you to make an impact on those around you? You probably don’t have any outward signs of what your battle is. But, there are emotional scars that you don’t let anybody know about… wounds you have somehow overcome by the power of Jesus Christ, or have you? Maybe your next step is to turn your hurt over to Him by giving Him control of your future. If that is where you find yourself then call 888-NEED-HIM, they can answer your questions and lead you to a better life.
If you already have received Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior then why don’t you reach out to other hurting souls in the strength of the Holy Spirit and apply the verse I mentioned earlier. I’m sure you will only receive a further healing of your own spirit by helping others work through their pain (I believe nothing is ever wasted in God’s economy). You know what needs to be done… will you do it? God will give you the strength you need to do it for Him.
I recently endured one of life’s uncomfortable experiences. It’s one of those things that many people put off because of the embarrassment of the ordeal. When you turn 50 the medical professionals highly suggest that everybody get a colonoscopy. I could have shrugged it off as unnecessary, because I’m in good health. Besides, God is starting to use me to reach out to others through my writing… why would He strike me with cancer at this point in my life. Well, a single polyp was discovered and removed. I had to wait over a week before I learned that it was the type of polyp that is considered pre-cancerous. A time bomb has been removed before it went off. If you’ve been putting it off, swallow hard, make the appointment, you could be very glad you did; this cancer rarely gives second chances. I knew what needed to be done, so I did it.
Perhaps you’ve been nudged by Hebrews 5:12 “…by this time you ought to be teachers,” but, you keep putting off the call for fear you won’t be good enough. Take that step of faith, I believe God will surprise you (I’ve been writing less than 3 years, He continues to surprise me). Most churches need teachers in all age levels, pick a level you’re comfortable with. If you know it needs to be done, then do it. Please.
I’ll see you later. Wade