Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tie a Yellow Ribbon

One of Conway's own is coming home today from Afghanistan, but not in the way he last left.  United States of America flags and yellow ribbons will salute him and his family as they come into town.  Gasps of shock and tears of pain and sadness continue to flow; hearts will do more breaking before they start mending.

His dad is a Baptist pastor; a fellow member of the cloth.  His mom is "the preacher's wife."  They are, of course, much more than that, but now their faith journeys and family have taken a sharp turn.  And they can't make a u-turn and get back going like they were; their course forever altered.  A turn they didn't willingly make.  A turn that puts them on the same road with other families who are now traveling a similar path.

This particular soldier used to play basketball with my children in our backyard when we lived across a field from him and his family. After we moved to the other side of town I lost track of him, unfortunately.  My children went to a different school and neither was his age; we went to different churches.  Our paths just didn't cross anymore.  Now he will always be that tow-headed boy with a bball.

His family are people of deep faith.  How will God use this as Rev. McLawhorn pastors and preaches from this day forward?  How will this strengthen his church and this town?  In this Christmas season of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love, how will God speak these things into the hearts of his children at this time of their lives?

Many families are going through this and many will follow though they don't know it now.

Show an attitude of gratitude to those who wear our country's uniform and to the families who stand with them.   Pray for them, uphold them, and pray for peace so that the day may come when we can put our yellow ribbons away.

God keep you Cpl. Will McLawhorn, Jr.  Thank you.