I am writing today’s blog from 30,000 feet in the air. I am heading to sunny San Diego to spend a few days with my brother and his family. The last time I went to San Diego they had the most rain they have ever had in the four days I was there than they had had in the whole year. Instead of driving to the beach for sun and fun, we were dodging palm tree branches blowing from all directions towards our car as we drove down the narrow streets to the beach. When we got to the pier it was submerged with ten-foot waves crashing all around. Mike called yesterday and said that they were putting sand-bags out just in case, knowing that I was soon to arrive! Hopefully this trip isn’t a replay of the bad weather we had the last time or I will certainly be blamed!
It’s a typical flight–full for a Monday morning. I imagine most here enjoyed a weekend with their families and maybe their moms but now it is time to do what they do during the week. I have my laptop on my lap and the guy in front of me just reclined so I am barely able to see what I’m typing anymore. There’s a lady with a red brimmed crocheted hat that reminds me of Minnie Pearl. I keep looking for the tag hanging down, but there is no way she bought that in a store! LOL! But the person who caught my attention the most is the guy across the aisle one seat up. As he was boarding, I recognized the all too familiar military carry-on bag. His polite, “Yes, mam,” to the ticket-taker when she asked if he was willing and able to help others because of his seat location, confirmed my thoughts. His frame and haircut remind me of my son. His seat is the first section behind first class so he is sitting there with a see-through curtain pulled in front of him as he watches those up front being served their specialty breakfasts while being treated like kings and queens.
My family has a long legacy of military men in its lineage. My dad and brother Dick, both served in the Army, my brother Mike the Navy and now my son, Rob in the Army National Guard. I have a great respect for those who give of their lives to serve our country and keep us safe. My mind is wondering where this young man going. Is he scared? Did he leave a wife and children to go spend a year away to serve his country like my son? I somehow feel much safer knowing he is here on the flight. It seems wrong that he isn’t up in first class being treated like a king though; rather than just watching others get the red carpet treatment. They should at least pass him back a bagel and an orange juice or something. This may be his last American meal for a while…even if it is airplane food. He doesn’t seem to mind. He has granola bars in his bag. This kid has no idea that I just wrote a blog about him or that I just said a prayer for his safety. However, as a military mom, I feel God put me in this place today to pray for someone else’s son who may be heading into combat. As I would hope that others would pray for my son as he travels to and fro, I am privileged to do the same for this man today.
When I get to San Diego, my son is going to try to Facetime my brother so the two of them can see each other and talk. Mike gets emotional thinking about it because he understands the sacrifice my son is making more than most. The two of them having served in times of war now have a new bond–one that the guy across the aisle may be able to share with them someday as well.
As I reflect on this, I am reminded once again, freedom isn’t free. Freedom in America as well as freedom from the bondage of sin all require sacrifice. Whether it be a sacrifice of time, energy, or even a life, it all comes at a cost. So as I am reminded today to pray for our military and be thankful for what they have done or are doing, I also reflect on my Savior, Jesus Christ. He too, fought a battle…single-handedly for you and for me…so that we can live in eternity with him. No more battles, no more pain for all who believe someday when we get to heaven—just a glorious eternity with our Savior.
So in closing, thank you military men and women for keeping us safe and free. May the Lord keep you safe and sound until your return back home. Ultimately, thank you Jesus, for loving us enough…