Military Family

“There’s nothing like family.”

Thats the saying, and it’s true. There is nothing like family. For us, we are keenly aware of this because we have lived away from our dear family for so long.

You know,  as a military family, we have our own little sayings. I’m not sure if this is an official one, but “there is nothing like military family” rings true for us.

This family doesn’t have the same DNA running through our veins, but we are family none the less. We are the ones who get together on Easter, Thanksgiving, the 4th of July, and other holidays, because none of us have family nearby to celebrate with. We are the emergency contacts on each other’s school forms; the ones who bring dinner when the other is sick; the ones who mow the yard when the other is deployed. We are the babysitters and the pet-sitters; the extra-key holders and the come over for let-over eaters.

We can sit at a table with other veterans and automatically bond, even if we do not know each other or have anything in common except for the service of sacrifice. And if we are lucky…we adopt each other, becoming the family that gets each other through our assignments

There is nothing like military family. Listen…in  this family, we get it.  We get the sacrifice, the burden and of course, we get the lingo. We get it and that knowledge alone brings us into family. It’s a beautiful comfort in such a temporary world.

When I go to Belgium this summer, that is one thing I am excited to witness. I am excited for these kids to find a new family in their hearts. To bond together, to adopt each other, to become brothers and sisters and to sit at the table of fellowship, ingesting the goodness of family.

“There is nothing like military family….”

While that is true, I know something truer. We are all family, made one in Jesus Christ, with the same blood running through our veins. And in Him, we are called to extend and enlarge our family.

This is what I hope to do there and with my life. I want to live with intention and  invitation into my family. I am not sure who I will be when I’m there in Brussels, maybe a mentor,  a sister or even a mother,  BUT I do know that whatever role I fall in,  the love of God will be with me. And, through His love, my family will grow. And for that, I am blessed.

Eternally blessed,

A.

missions donation link: https://www.gofundme.com/getAliciatoBelgium

Advertisements

Maundy Thursday: Let Us Not Hide Our Feet

Maundy Thursday: The Last Supper, The foot-washing. I wrote this quickly before work this morning and would like for all to read.

For most of us, it is easy to see our weaknesses. Even more so, we know the secret mutterings of our hearts. We know the ugly whispers and the fight to bend our will to wrestle the ugliness with kindness. When the result is compassion, mercy, kindness or simply “doing the right thing,” we know that we have been victorious! Yet, if we had to go back and search our heart and motive, we would find a wrestling match, if you will.

Some things are easier to see. The outward decline of a body and soul ravaged by drugs are easy to see.  Even easier to see are the garments of pride, blinding the proud soul from embracing the knowledge of it’s poverty.  And of course, anger, with her chains, is often surprises us with a thunderous roar, prowling and hunting for a challenge.

But the wounds of the heart are an invisible and underground cemetery of other lifeless things. Our secret shames, our internal struggles with self, our deepest pains, our past failures, every unforgivable wrong, every bit of violence done, walls of pride and legions of anxieties reside here.

Oh how these graveyards are deceptive, for they seem to be dead, but instead, they  work in the dark grounds of our being, trying to shape us, lead us and drive us into the opposite of who we are intended to be.

On this Maundy Thursday, I think of my wounds. They are so deep in my heart, I can ignore them effortlessly until BOOM….a trigger is pulled, and I find them still swirling into my being, taking my breath away and rendering me helpless, a child alone in the desert searching for water.

On this Maundy Thursday, I think of my pride. For others, it may be a covering of accomplishment, but for me it is an undergarment of insecurities. I am not brave, I am too shy, I am not skilled, I am too sensitive, I am not enough, I am too introspective. The “why can’t I be like everyone else” of my childhood coming into play.

On this Maundy Thursday, I think of my internal agonies. I think of them more often as I get older and I soothe them with the balm of Jesus.

Jesus.

ON this Maundy Thursday, I see Jesus taking care of things. After all, it was his last day to be free, to be alive, technically. For us, that would be saying goodbye to family and making sure our affairs are in order. For Jesus, that entailed breaking bread, feeding those around him and than doing the unimaginable.

He would wash their feet….dirty from walking dusty roads. Unattractive, from years of labor. And not worthy of a King, for these subjects were not always trusting or loyal.

Yet, Jesus ministered to his disciples before His final hour. His hands touched their feet and cleaned them in a parallel of what was to come. His body, becoming their sin, dusty, unattractive, not worthy, but cleansed by the touch of a servant-King sacrifice.

Peter could not handle this. And, I say that we are Peter, too. We cannot handle His healing touch on our feet and to those who say that we can, I call out your pride. It is a lie. For, if we could, than we would not need Him; we would not need His healing touch.

And oh, how we do.

Today, let us remember that the greatest challenge in our humanity, in our walk, is in allowing Jesus to touch our dirty feet. I am not speaking of before we knew Christ. The disciples knew Christ; they were His closest friends.

I am speaking of the after. We are eternally cleansed, but our feet still touch dusty roads. They are tinged and sooted with the dirt of unrepented sin, bitterness, pride, anger, pain, and distraction.

Jesus would like to come and wash our feet but will we allow him to? Will we allow him to soothe away our pride, heal our pain, cleanse our wounds, humble our pride?

ON this Maundy Thursday, may we remember that evil roars like a lion in wait, pouncing, hiding, and preparing. But there is hope in sight, for our Servant King will not allow us to be ill-equipped. Jesus, taking care of our greatest needs, feeds us in our weakness. He kneels before us, washing our travel-weary, sin-exhausted feet.

And most importantly, He goes out and dies for us. It’s not the earthy victory we understand, but its the heavenly victory God has understood for us. And now, we can get up and truly walk on the road to Easter Sunday. Even though failure, through rejection of Jesus, through loss, we will find Jesus there! On the other side of Easter, we will find Jesus there. For He has burst through the grave and defeated the last enemy – death forever crushed!

ON this Maundy Thursday, let us remember the dark but rejoice for the light. Let us see our sin but remember the cross! And lastly, let us sit to rest with Jesus but not hide our feet from Him. He has come to wash them…and we would do well to surrender them.