In the Military and Lonely
I heard something on the news the other day that touched my heart. The reporters were talking to some of our troops who had been deployed to the Middle East. One soldier had letters from his wife, another from his girlfriends but a third hadn’t received any. So he was borrowing letters from his buddies, just to have a taste of home, so far from it.
Last evening we were with some Adventist friends and we asked casually, “How was your week?” Fred replied, “Lousy.” He went on to say that he has three young adult children—two sons, and a daughter—all three in the military. And He was understandably concerned.
As Sue and I talked, we agreed we need to reach out, personally, and as a church, to our brave sons and daughters serving this country. This is not about the rightness or wrongness of this conflict. We all have our opinions. They are doing what they’ve been trained to do—serve their country with distinction. This is about reaching out to these soldiers. No matter how brave, how strong, how tough, they are very vulnerable. Some may be close to the Lord and His church, some may have distanced themselves. No matter where they are on their spiritual journey now and in the years to come, what better way to let them know that their church appreciates them than to reach out during this time of uncertainty and loneliness.
I’d like to suggest that every church in the Northwest have a strategically placed “honor roll” with the names of our young men and women serving in the armed forces. (In fact the names of friends from the community could also be included.) Then, each Sabbath, remember to publicly pray for them and for their families. Secondly, attempt to communicate with them via letter or e-mail. And when they come home, invite them to church. In a special commemorative service, welcome them back, thank them, and show them that we as a church family prayed for them on a regular basis.
NPUC Office Staff
We will hang an honor roll in our office. If you have a son or daughter or family member in the service, send us their name and address. We will pray for them and try to communicate with them as well.
Let’s not, at a time of great uncertainty in our world, miss a great opportunity to show that we look forward to a time of everlasting peace while at the same time we are sensitive to the pain and loneliness caused by this current situation. •