Monday, March 12, 2012

CG Memorial

Last Thursday was the Coast Guard Memorial for the four men who died in the helicopter crash. It was a beautiful event to attend.


The Patriot Guard showed up, lining the street in front of the base with American flags, decked out in their leather vests, bandana-ed heads, and long hair. The school across the road had made dozens and dozens of posters and had taped them on the fence. All CG aircraft were out, noses pointing upwards with red ribbons tied onto them. My favorite part were the two firetrucks, ladders raised as high as they could go, with a HUGE American flag hanging from them. The wind was strong enough to keep it blowing the whole time. Unfortunately, all pictures I can find of it make it look like it was hung upside down. It wasn't.


I've heard the guess of two thousand. It was, indeed, a "sea of blue." Kind words were spoken, chuckles produced and the bagpipes play for the helicopter flyover.


I tried not to think about the widow of the Lt. Commander, alone now, with two little boys to raise. Jim knew that he was a believer, so I am pretty confident that she was clinging to Christ. But they had been planning for a move to New Jersey.... just as we are planning our move to Cape Cod. There had probably been dinner guest plans, t-ball plans, date plans... just like we are planning for various weddings, trips, and things-to-do-to-prepare-the-house-to-sell-it. It was just an ordinary day of work for them... training for a rescue mission.
I clung to Jim's hand, imagining the horror of being by myself. Of losing him. Of thinking, "Why?! Why, dear God, WHY?!" Of realizing that, for a while, until the grief passes and she can breathe again, the widow will have to understand that the answer to that is just because. Because God is God and He decides whether we will live another day or we will die right now. And that because He IS God, we cannot shake our fists at Him for His decision. We are, after all, the earthen vessels that He made. And the clay pot does not say to the Potter, "I don't want to be shaped like this! You're doing it all wrong!"

As their pictures were shown on the screen, I realized, once again, that we indeed do not know our time. We will not all reach old age. We will not all have time to lay in a bed and consider the question, "What comes after death?" Some of us will die quick, violent deaths, as these men did, with no time to consider heaven or hell. And dear friends, I'm not trying to be dramatic when I say this, but at that point, it will be too late to consider. Come to Jesus now. Right now. Let me say that He is more than after-life insurance. He is the Rock that I cling to when everything around me is crashing down. He is my Shepherd, who comes and looks for me and holds me in His arms when I try to set out on my own. And if you have already come to know the joy of being a child in His house, think on this - someone you know has not. And if you claim you love them and have not shared the story of the gospel with them, you are lying to them! I speak for myself as well. How can I claim I love them, yet keep hidden the very thing that gives me life? How can I KNOW that Satan is seducing them to hell, yet not try to warn them? Countless times I have backed out of talking about Christ and what He has done for me because I think I'll be ridiculed. It would be like watching a precious friend flounder around in the dark on the edge of the Grand Canyon, and I stand silently by, with a Maglite in my pocket, afraid that she'll make fun of me for helping her. Satan truly is the Great Deceiver if I am falling for that lie.

1 comments:

Ted said...

Thank you for sharing. And once again, I am thankful you married my son.