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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bye-bye, DaDa


Yesterday my daughter, T. attended a military funeral. A soldier was wounded by an IED a year ago in Iraq. This past weekend you called him Home. T. and everyone in attendance were moved to uncontrolled weeping, Lord. Not by the Honor Guard. Not by the 21 gun salute. Not even by the playing of Taps. It was this soldier's 17 month old daughter who broke everyone's heart.

After all the military homage to this valiant soldier the young widow carried her baby girl to the casket, Mom laid her hand on the casket and wept. The baby laid her tiny hand on the casket, too, and said "Bye-bye, DaDa." then kissed the casket.

That is sacrifice, isn't it, God? I've lived such a life of ease and affluence I've never really had to sacrifice anything. Not for my country. Not for you, either.

Even in this time of war we Americans hardly even realize we're fighting a war. The price of gasoline has zoomed upward. But, is that even a sacrifice? Or a mere inconvenience to my life style?

And then, there are the wounded soldiers and their families. And the funerals - the wives and mothers and children who have said good-bye to their soldiers and buried our honored dead. They seem to be the only ones making sacrifices in this time of war.

I pray for this young family - this widow and her daughter, this soldier's parents and siblings. The medals he received might comfort them later, Lord. But I pray you will comfort them right now. I pray they will run to you for their comfort. I know you'll embrace them and carry them through the devastating days ahead.

And I pray for the rest of us who have this picture of sacrifice burned into our memories. I pray we'll stop being a nation of whiny cry babies and make willing sacrifices for this nation that has been so extravagantly good to us.


True sacrifice is painful, Little One. It is an act motivated by love or by gratitude or by a sense of duty. Look around you. Do you see much love for your country? Do you see a lot of gratitude for your nation? Do you know a lot of people who live and work and give because of their sense of duty?

What about you, Little One? Are love, gratitude, and duty an integral part of who you really are?