Psalm 142:1-2 ” I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy. I pour out before Him my complaint; before Him I tell my trouble.”
Dearest Father in Heaven, Today you sent me to a place I never thought I would go. I shook with fear when You pressed Your desires upon me. I drove three hours. They flew 7,713 miles. I stopped at Buc-ees for a sandwich, using one of 49 bathrooms available. They sat for 9 hours on a plane without seats with one bathroom shared by dozens of guys and nothing to eat. A valet parked my car, took my luggage to my room after which I slept on clean sheets with a down comforter. They slept on the floor of the plane, propped up by the guy next to them, carrying 100 pounds of gear, dressed in the same clothes they had worn for a week or more. I had a shower this morning. They had a shower last month. I griped about the traffic and rude drivers. They watched to see who might blow them up from the car next to them. I whined about the parking and the long walk. They held on to the edges of a makeshift gurney, their body twisted and mangled while four of their friends ran through flying bullets, praying they wouldn’t step on another IED on their way to the medivac helicopter.
I walked into a hospital room, expecting sorrow and depression. They lay on a bed, legs amputated, burns covering their body, smiling and asking me to have a seat, pray with them, laugh with them. I worried I hadn’t bought enough for my grandchildren for Christmas. She was 3 years old and asked me if I thought Santa might bring her a Cinderella doll because she had no toys to play with on the floor of the hospital room where she plays beside her father’s bed. I listened while my child told me how difficult their life is. I held a woman who cried while she thanked me for giving her a box of cookies and some popcorn for her 5 children who now live in one room while they wait for their husband/father to come out of a coma.
Dearest Father, it seems so unfair. Why are these brave men and women, who are so broken, so wounded, ignored by the people they were willing to die for? While I watch hundreds of bicycles and thousands of toys be carried away by dozens of trucks to be given out to children in our city, we had to draw names for 5 bikes while a hundred children left with little more than a coloring book. Abba, an adult understands but a child does not. Please, please Father. Bless these children. Comfort them. Let Your angels sit beside them while they sleep. Let their fears, their hurts, their unsettled lives be held tight in the palm of Your Hand. Take these brave wives and give them peace. Give them strength. Give them friends who will hold them close. Let their eyes close in sleep, let them get rest, let them give up the guilt that comes from seeing their husband come home when her husband didn’t. And these brave soldiers. Father God, thank You for their attitudes. Thank You for their bravery. Thank You for the people who take care of them day after day, the doctors/nurses, orderlies who selflessly work long hours to make sure these wounded warriors are taken care of. Thank You for the people who work so hard to make sure these soldiers are never forgotten. That they never go without. Thank You for the PTSD foundation www.ptsdusa.net, Operation Military Embracewww.operationmilitaryembrace.com, for Wounded Warrior Project www.woundedwarriorproject.org . I know, Father, that You took me to this hospital, to meet these families, to touch these lives, for a reason that only You know. Show me Father what You would have me do. I pray Father, for those who still fight. For those who won’t come home. For those who are left behind to mourn their passing. 6331 soldiers will never come home. 46,542 soldiers have come home wounded. A soldier commits suicide every other day in this country. Bring peace Father. Peace to the soldiers, peace to the families, peace to the world. In the name of Your most Beloved Son, Christ Jesus, Amen