Standing on their shoulders

Reflections on Memorial Day by Marti Fischer

imagesThis weekend as many of us here in America celebrate our brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, let us together stand on the shoulders of their sacrifice and sing in praise of their noble history. Listen to their lives speak loudly from the rows of monuments on green hillsides, asking us to face the darkness today and be alert with our own drawn sword. “For the love of justice,” they whisper, “do the same.”

We can do nothing less.

The invasion has long been underway. Armed with the sword of life, we too climb into transports everyday. We are dropped into vital areas everywhere, always leaving a part of ourselves behind on every battlefield. This is because larger forces are at work here, and therefore the will of Christ Jesus, our Lord, is that we obey.

Without these soldiers – the men and women at peace, now asleep – there would be no understanding among our current generation of what it is to stand up against the enemy, take beatings without a whimper, and accept triumphs without boasting. These are men and women who went, and would go again, to hell and back, to preserve what is right, and what is just.

We can do nothing less.

We as Christians have so much more to do today than just salute our fallen. They are not only our heroes. They are our role models. They walked the walk in history that Christ has asked us to walk, spiritually, everyday such as:

  • Fighting the fire that roars through our human house. The degree to which we are not aware of this, is the degree to which we are losing.
  • Regardless of how we arrive at a crisis point, do the right thing for the right reasons.
  • Learn to “help a buddy.”
  • Every soldier probably complained about the war they fought, found fault with a superior, and muttered about the duty. Universally, however, strangers are quickly friends who come alongside, and always show up when needed.
  • Today we fight against opposing forces of greater strength and numbers, and yet He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.
  • There is no such thing as a tiny or insignificant conflict.
  • The service of those we honor is rarely viewed as a stepping stone to something “greater,” nor is it for us.
  • Most are volunteers who, by choice, found honor in others.

These are our fallen heroes – dark horses every one – and they died heading straight for the enemy camp. We, as Catch citizens and fellow believers can do nothing less.

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4 Responses to Standing on their shoulders

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Wanted to thank-you Marti 4 this and your very good writing skills too, appreciate them & you. I had a few tears in my eyes as I read this and brought back this good memory…

    Years ago, I was a new believer back then and had once heard a sermon that the preacher said something like whenever u see a veteran, just thank them for their service they surely don’t need or want your judgment – they more than likely have seen more than enough horror & had experienced more than enough pain to last a lifetime. Sure enough weeks later, I was in this shopping mall and walked by this water fountain and noticed this elderly gentleman sitting by it and he had something on that made me immediately think he is a veteran, (I think if I am remembering correctly he had on a VFW Cap on) So I walked up and asked him if he was – suddenly he rose his head and replied well yes I am – I moved my hand out to shack his and thanked him for his service to our county – and the part I’ll never forgot is, he stood up so straight and proud, plus with a glint of a tear in his eye and thanked me for that and replied I needed to hear today that young man. So it was pretty cool to play a tiny part that may have helped make someone’s day better – especially a veteran!

  2. bobbobs60 says:

    by Chuck Swindoll

    It was a cold, blustery January night in 1973. Senator John Stennis, the venerable hawkish Democrat from Mississippi, drove from Capitol Hill to his northwest Washington home. Although older (71), he was still the powerful chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. At precisely 7:40 p.m., Stennis parked his car and started toward his house 50 feet away.
    Out of the darkness jumped two young robbers—little more than kids, really. One nervously waved a .22 caliber pistol as the other relieved the senator of his personal possessions. “Now we’re going to shoot you anyway,” one told Stennis. He did, firing twice.
    For six-and-a-half hours, surgeons at Walter Reed Medical Center labored feverishly to repair the damage and save his life.
    At 9:15 that same night another politician was driving home from the Senate . . . a man on the opposite end of the political spectrum, a Republican “dove” who had clashed often and sharply with Stennis. His name? Senator Mark Hatfield. The tragedy was reported over Hatfield’s car radio that wintry night. Disregarding the strong differences in their convictions and pulled by a deep admiration for the elderly statesman plus a compassion for his plight, Hatfield later admitted:
    “I had no skills to offer. But I knew there was something I must do—and that was to go to that hospital and be nearby where I could be helpful, if possible, to the family.”
    There was untold confusion at the hospital as fellow senators, colleagues, and curious friends and reporters overwhelmed the hospital’s telephone operators. Understaffed and disorganized, the hospital crew tried their best but were unable to handle the calls and answer the questions.
    Hatfield quickly scoped out the situation, spotted an unattended switchboard, sat down, and voluntarily went to work. Much later—after recovering—Stennis related what he heard happened next: “He told the girls, ‘I know how to work one of these; let me help you out.’ He continued taking calls until daylight.” An exceedingly significant detail is that he never gave anyone his name because someone would surely suspect some political connection, some ulterior motive. Hatfield finally stood up around daylight, stretched, put on his overcoat, and quietly introduced himself to the other operators. “My name is Hatfield . . . happy to help out on behalf of a man I deeply respect,” he said as he walked away.
    The press couldn’t handle that story when it leaked out. It boggled their minds! No way did it make sense for a Republican to give a Democrat the time of day, not to mention several long hours of personal assistance in some anonymous, menial task. I mean, that kind of character went out with the horse and buggy and silent movies and saying “ma’am” and “sir” to teachers. Or did it?
    Politics and personal preferences and opinions on things like military involvement may vary among members of the body of Christ . . . but there is a bond deep within that binds us to one another. It is the glue of authentic love, expressing itself in compassion, fairness, willingness to support, and (when possible) coming to the aid of another. Personally. Without strings attached. Committed to the protection and dignity of human life . . . regardless of how somebody votes.
    And what does it take? Bigness. Being free of grudges, pettiness, vengeance, and prejudice. Seeing another in need—regardless of differences of opinion—and reaching out in solid Christian maturity. Just because you care.
    That’s bigness. It’s living above labels . . . it’s seeing beyond hurts . . . it’s caring unconditionally, helping unassumingly.
    And therefore it’s rare. As rare as a hawk and a dove in the same nest on a cold winter’s night.

    From “Come Before Winter and Share My Hope”

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