"We often forget the things that we thought we would never forget".
I found that quote today and put it my briefing for my commander. I had forgotten all this week. I sit here hacking this email out just a few miles from the Tigris river in the desert of the middle east. I am surrounded each day by soldiers who leave the "wire" and expose themselves to death. Just this week I was reminded again of how real all this is. At our combat surgical hospital, the choppers came in, the docs were scrubbed and ready to go to do what they do, but that didn't happen. Because there was no one to save. All three young soldiers had been killed when an explosion blew up their MRAP. So this week some Chaplain and another officer had to go to some poor woman's house and ruin her life that her son or husband was killed in action. And that was done three times this week. It was a sobering day.
I met with a soldier from that unit today. His best friend was killed in the attack. He's a strong man, but the weight of the instantaneous loss of his buddy is taking its toll. The strain is ever-present in his eyes. As he knelt in tears all I could or needed to do was pray with Him.
Like it or not the events of this week began 8 years ago today, actually back further than that, but the hinge point was September 11th. I know it was for me. It was the day that I knew I'd be at some point serving in the Army, kneeling with soldiers in grief and smiling with them in joy.
We are prone to forget. I forgot that I was working on a sliding glass door with my buddy Nathan. I forgot as we watched through that glass at some lady's house in Troutman NC and wondered what could be going on in New York. I forgot about the smoke and fire that came out of those buildings. I forgot the replays over and over again of that plane tearing through that building in a giant ball of fire. I forgot that the three of us watched on live TV, most of us did, as those massive buildings fell in seconds. I forgot the sick feeling I had in my stomach. I forgot how mad I was. I forgot the prayer that we prayed on our knees in that living room of some woman that I have not seen since. I forgot the conversation that I had with my wife on the phone, "Can you beleive it?!" What is going to happen now?" I forgot how we cried as we watched on TV all that day and all the next week. I had forgotten it all. That is until I remembered it. Then it all flooded back in. And one way or another I sit here, half a world away from my family and my home simply because 9-11 happened. I am here now, because that day quickened my soul and I could no longer sit by and just let things happen any more. Small is it may be, I had to play my part.
We had a 9-11 memorial service today to jog our memories. We saw the pictures again, heard the news clips. The stories were shared again. It is through this sharing of experience that we lessen the plague of forgetfulness. Remember today what you felt like that day. Don't forget the thing that you swore you could never forget.
I am even more aware now of Jesus' words, "Do this in remembrance of me", because He knew that if we did not have a reminder, some way of jogging us out of our daily slumber, we'd forget the thing we swore we'd never forget.
I have not forgotten today.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Welcome to all the Mcullough family and friends as Mark's participation in the Podcast has increased the readership of Gone Fishin Again to a whopping 45 subscribers. Wow! Who would have thunk it!
I spoke at "Big Church" this morning at what is known as Lightning Chapel here on COB Spiecher. The message was from Exodus 3 and Moses' encounter with God at the Burning Bush. God's faithfulness is the source of my faithfulness. I saw four things emerge from that text and from the context and thought I might share them here for you all.
- God is Faithful to Follow us- God had been following Moses since his unlikely salvation from death as a baby. God had followed and provided and watched over Moses through his childhood, even into his adulthood as a warrior and then even as he committed murder and ran from the charges. You can rest assured that God does the same in your life...He is faithful to follow!
- God is Faithful to Find us- Moses had been wandering the desert in his safe little job, his risk free life of a shepherd...40 years he did this! But God found him, exactly at the right time for God's purposes. He found me 15 years ago. He provided Moses a burning bush...He provided me a radio broadcast (See the video clip at the bottom of this page). Understand this, that God is the one that pursues us. He's just waiting for us to notice!
- God is faithful to Free us- He told Moses to take off his sandals. Our shoes have been everywhere we've been. They know all the dirt of our past. God, set Moses free of that and he does the same for us. The holy ground that we shed our "shoes" is the ground at the cross. The blood covenant that God promised was sealed there. Our freedom ensued!
- God is faithful to Fill us- God took Moses, an 80 year old, stuttering, murdering, running from his problems kind of guy and set a nation free with him. He'll take you and me and we can be used to bring freedom to this world, freedom in Christ. He'll fill us with power of the Holy Spirit, he'll empower us to have the fruit of the Spirit. He'll fill us for His purposes, partners with God in the Kingdom, servants of the King. And all it takes is us to simply say yes...Lord...be faithful and fill me!
On a lighter note we had a Baptism service today(Pictures above), but the water truck forgot about us (no running water here) So me and and about 5 Chaplain assistants opened up 2.5 pallets of 1 liter water bottles, one bottle at a time, in about an hour to get the pool ready for dunkin!
It was a sight!
Have a great week everyone!
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