I listened to the service honoring those that died and are serving their country. There was a fresh reality to the words as the new of a helicopter crash that morning with men and women on the way to one of the other services ran through the audience. Whatever one might think, there was a raw reality of sacrifice, beliefs, and where they meet.
I have heard the stories of yesterday, of how men and women willingly gave their lives for principles and a country s/he believed in. I have felt the anguish of those that commanded tanks. I have listened to the pain of one who survived a plane crash after being hit with eight surface-to-air missiles. While it was real, with time the reality fades. Today everything came back. Three died. Others were injured. It all happened minutes from where I stood.
The wind howled. The sharp chop on the bay reflected the cuts I could feel on my heart. They believed. They served with honor. They gave the ultimate sacrifice for their hearts and action. Everything was and is connected.
The hymns reminded me of the anguish and hope that we hold within our hearts. I thought of the stories behind the songs and the scripture passages that were read. I realized that many sitting around me did not have this knowledge. Should I retell the story so that they will know? Who will tell the stories of those that died this morning so that others will hear and understand?
A wise man observed that others already knew what he knew. His words confirmed the truth of the story he told. “The king knows what I’m talking about. I’m sure that nothing of what I’ve said sounds crazy to him. He’s known all about it for a long time.” (Acts 26.26)
I know about circumstances that link compassion with hope. I have seen God standing by individuals in times of distress and overwhelming uncertainty. Each is a story that often seems mundane. Today reminds me that they are the stories I should share.