In honor and salute to our soldiers and their families.
Grace at Dinner
“For what we are about to receive, Lord, make us truly thankful,” he prayed the same prayer every family meal time.
Disconcerting to me as a child. What did that mean? Dustbowl. Lack. Subsistence farming. Starvation?
In understanding the boy comes better understanding of the man.
Times like These
His parents married in 1929—the year the Stock Market crashed. He arrived in 1930, and grew up in town, but with much time spent with his hard-working farming grandparents and uncle who had maintained land in that region for generations. Now, in addition to the unrelenting hard work of the farm, they faced the effects of the Great Depression.
My grandfather, Jack Potter, joined the U.S. Air Force just as World War II came to a close, married my Mima, Eileen Crystal, and started their family on the soil of transition in America and the world.
Times like these make or break people. Families. Nations.
On January 23, 1968, the navy intelligence ship, U.S.S. Pueblo sailed international waters. It was attacked in those waters by North Korean naval and air forces, commandeered, and almost one hundred prisoners taken, at the beginning of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s tumultuous tenure. This, a major event in the Cold War, had the potential to spark another war of global proportions, and everyone—at home and abroad–remained very tense. Hardly had there been breathing room between two world wars, and an economic depression.
Chief Master Sergeant Jack Potter deployed, covertly and quickly, with no time to emotionally prepare his four children and what could be told them? to reinstate communications in the wake of the strike on the U.S.S. Pueblo. His wife, my Mima, was on standby should she receive orders to emergency evacuate their family from Japan.
What the Gift Cost
By the grace of God and their combined skill, he returned home.
It had been the custom they grew up on—deal with the day, and not speak of extraneous things. And so, no one ever did. Speak of it.
They—the Greatest Generation–and the generations before them. Did. Not. Speak. Of. The. Sacrifice.
They did it. They modeled it. They worked to make things better for their children, as God called parents to do.
However, the children. . .and the grandchildren. Did. Not. Know. The Cost. Of THE Gift.
In our families. In our nations.
21 gun salute. Flag, meticulously, reverently, folded. Intentional fold by meaningful fold. Current servicemen and women handed it, respectfully and with honor, to my uncle at Jack Potter’s funeral, just days after 9-1-1.
Soldiers and Families, Missionaries
There, my friend, who served as a missionary for 18 years, hugged the necks of Jack’s son and daughters and thanked them.
“Thank you. Thank you for your sacrifices for our nation. You are missionaries yourselves. Soldiers, and their families are. It’s the same life of sacrifice,” etched her words in my mind as they rang in my spirit.
This weekend we honor our veterans.
May we be graced to understand so we can well honor their work—their sacrifice—and their families’ sacrifice—by upholding the freedoms they fought to secure–and battled to keep secure.
Freedom is wonderful. But, freedom has a price. That price is sacrifice. May that sacrifice be met with due response. Thankfulness. Respect. Honor. Prayer. Giving.
Would you pray with me?
Father, thank You. Thank You. For Jesus. For our soldiers and their families in each of our nations. Cause us to know. Cause us to be truly thankful for what we have received. By courage, honor and sacrifice. And give us Your strength to protect the freedom, built on the foundation of sacrifice, so that the generations to come have these gifts that the generations before us sacrificed to give—freedom for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
Father, restore, restore, restore! Release honor, life, hope, health, harvests and rewards to the families of soldiers who are no longer on earth–and all the soldiers and their families who are serving, or have served. Let Your amazing grace and healing love flow to them, and to all current servicemen and servicewomen, and their families. Release to them rewards, harvests, breakthrough and recompense and even more through the power of Your grace! Restore, and do much more, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, The Soldier who secured freedom for all, for all time, amen.
by Crystal Wade, copyright 2016