I signed my child in at the doctor's office and then we proceeded to find a seat and wait. It really wasn't that crowded, but the people waiting to be seen were scattered about the room. We found two empty seats next to an elderly gentlemen and sat down. I leaned slightly in his direction and asked, " You won't bite if I sit next to you will you?". His tired, worn face broke out into a smile, he chuckled a little bit as he softly said, "No". A conversation soon began and we reminisced about our childhood years, each remembering the way our grandmother's could bake the best pies. A lady across from us joined in on the conversation and soon the office began to feel more like a friendly gathering place. I found out that the gentleman next to me had served in the Korean War. "Thank you for what you did," I said. A sad and somewhat pained look came over his face as he replied, "I was 17 years old when I joined the military. From 17 to 21 I served. Some things we had to do, I still struggle with. I have nightmares about it still." Tears began to well in his eyes as he haltingly told me some of the horrific things only service men know about. I didn't want to imagine the scenes that must have passed before his young, innocent eyes. It made me want to somehow take away all the pain and suffering he experienced, but all I could do was sit there and listen. Another younger gentleman joined in on the conversation. He had served in Vietnam. He too had similar experiences. My heart went out to both of them. They both had been exposed to asbestos in the military and both were now suffering because of it. It didn't seem fair that these once young, innocent men had to step out into a new and terrifying world. Our conversation ended abruptly as my child's name was called; but I couldn't help leaning over both of them, giving them hugs, and whispering a thank you in there ears.
That experience gave me a deeper appreciation of the people who defend our freedom. Freedom always comes at a price. It requires sacrifice, heartache, and pain for those who obtain it. It reminds me of another Man, a Man who gave His life to save the whole world. He willingly took on heartache and pain to be our sacrifice. He was beaten, battered, and bruised. He was derided, spit upon, and betrayed. Yet He bore it all, for He knew that if He didn't our freedom from sin would be lost forever; we would be lost forever. We have a lot to be grateful for. We can be grateful to the men who fought for, and won our freedom. We can openly, and without fear, worship our Lord and Saviour. The Man who fought for and won our eternal freedom. Have you whispered a thank you to Him today?