remembering those who served

Photograph by Glen Alan Woods

The bodies of my father, uncle, grandfather, and so many others in my ancestry who bravely served America now rest in military graveyards around the country. I remember them often, but especially on days like today.

Throughout America a tradition will be repeated. Military jets will conduct honorary flybys to pay respects to the fallen comrades who served their country with distinction. An inspiring sight to behold. This year I am content to remember the scene I witnessed and captured in the photo. It depicts a flock of seagulls enroute to their night’s resting place as twilight dances across the ocean waves. They call in the distance. Perhaps they pay their respects in their own right. I imagine it is God’s way of reminding us there is beauty to behold even in the midst of a world in which there is continued war, famine, atrocities, and their root: sin. It gives me hope that someday, when Jesus comes to set the world to rights, wars will cease. We will lay down implements of conflict and take up instruments of worship to honor him more fully. I long for that day. I yearn to witness his glorious appearance, whether in this life or in eternity, according to his providence.

But, I am mindful of my responsibility now to pray for the leaders of this nation and those around the world. I pray for the peace of the nations and their cities, not least Jerusalem. I pray for those in the military (American and foreign) who confront the tangible forces of evil in the forms of decentralized or national terrorism. Likewise, I am alert that my actions must give practical traction to my words and prayers by learning to love as Jesus loved: the unlovely, my enemies, those who are abusive toward me, those who cannot now and may never reciprocate any acts of love which God requires of me, and so on.

I pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

It will cost me. It may cost you should you be willing to pay the price.

Will you pray with me as we remember together those who served us valiantly, keeping in mind our part moving forward?

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