Monday, June 15, 2009

Bringing in the Sheaves

I have to tell you about yesterday at church. There was a visiting couple sitting on the row in front of me during the service, and they have a baby who is several months old. The mom was playing with him, holding him, giving a bottle, and then handed him off to his dad. He gave him a little soft blanky and snuggled him up on his shoulder, and when the baby would resist the dad would gently rock him and sway a bit. In no time the baby was out, letting go of his grip on his daddy's shirt and sleeping. I'm not sure if the dad was hot or what, but he gently leaned forward and took the blanket away. He then put the baby back on his shoulder and continued to hold him while he was sleeping.

You got it. I wept.

The Father holds us. He rocks us with love. Sometimes he takes away things so dear to us for reasons we don't understand, but He is still holding us so close to His heart.

I feared writing this because I'm thinking sure enough I share my heart and what I saw and something dear is going to be taken from me. But, it's as Oswald Chambers said this morning "
We say we do not expect God to take us to heaven on flowery beds of ease, and yet we act as if we do!"

The service progressed and I felt so tender and vulnerable before the Lord. I love that. A few moments later we sang this song...

Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness,
Sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve;
Waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves;
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows,
Fearing neither clouds nor winter’s chilling breeze;
By and by the harvest, and the labor ended,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master,
Though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves;
When our weeping’s over, He will bid us welcome,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves
You got it. More weeping. He is so faithful, and I can't help but believe no matter where I am sowing in life, He is still good. He is still faithful. I pray I am rejoicing bringing in the sheaves.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Amazing Woven Into The Lives Of So Many

Last week, we celebrated Memorial Day. W had the day off, so we took the opportunity to be lazy, grill out, watch movies, and be lazy. I don't remember us having a day so relaxed and unscheduled since his Christmas break last year.

One of the movies we rented was Taking Chance. I watched this back in the spring and told W how great of a movie it was and how I believed everyone in this nation needed to see it. Hey, you, go watch it.

So we watched it late Sunday night. Monday was Memorial Day, and I kept thinking back to the movie. I kept thinking about my brother. I kept thinking about the blood that has been shed for this country. I kept thinking about Jordan Haerter. Jordan was a friend of my brother's who served alongside him in the 1/9 in Ramadi, Iraq. On April 22, 2008, Jordan paid the ultimate sacrifice. In his sacrifice, he protected a whole host of Marines and Iraqi Police (including my brother). I decided to comment on the message board, not knowing who would read it or expecting any result from it. After all, it was Memorial Day.

Fast forward to this past Thursday night. My phone rings, it was my brother. He says hang on, someone wants to talk to me. A guy gets on the phone and says "Hi, my name is Patrick, I'm from Boston and I hear you're going there. Get a pen and some paper and I'm going to tell you some great things to do while you're there." We talk, he tells me many secrets of Boston and things to do/not do on our upcoming trip, puts my brother back on the phone. I thanked my brother for being so cool and looking out for me. We ended the conversation and I started thinking about this faceless (to me) Marine named Patrick, and what a privelege it is to come in contact with all these men, via my brother.

Next, I spontaneously open my e-mail. I saw a name I did not recognize in my inbox, JoAnn Lyles. Then, I read this.

Dear Michelle-

Thank you so much for taking the time to write.. How very thoughtful of you- Please thank your brother Matt for me. Hug him tightly. Thank him for his service and for keeping Jordan’s memory alive. I had “Amazingly woven into the lives of so many” carved into Jordan’s headstone. Your brother is another example of the ripple effect of Jordan’s actions. There will be a Wounded Warrior/ Soldier Ride event here in Sag Harbor, New York on July 25th held in Jordan’s honor. Some of 1/9 will participate on a volunteer basis. I have started a team called “TEAM JORDAN”- It’s a bike ride or a walk event. One walk starts in Sag Harbor and will go over the bridge renamed The Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter Veterans Memorial Bridge”.
Thank you again. Hello to Matt. I hope to meet him one day.
Semper Fidelis

JoAnn Lyles
Forever Proud Mom of LCpl Jordan C. Haerter, USMC

Wow. What do you say? This was her son, the one she birthed, nurtured, put band-aids on, tucked in at night, read bedtime stories to, cleaned up his vomit, watched ball games, watched graduate, watched him become a Marine, and somewhere in her mind wondered when he left for that deployment "I wonder if I'll see him again..."

Pray for these men and women today. They are serving so my children can play outside without having to worry about roadside bombs. They are fighting and sweating and missing home so we can drive across this nation without having to worry about going through insurgent areas.

If you don't know anyone to pray for, pick a name... because somewhere, there is a Matt, a Jordan, a Patrick, an Anthony, a Mark. We have the opportunity to approach the throne of grace with confidence. We have a Father who knows what it means to lose a son. I'm not so naive to think that another life will not be lost, after all there is a time for peace and a time for war. My brother has another deployment in a few months, and the realities seem to only become harsher. I do know whom I have believed in, and He is able to work in and through these lives. You see, He also is amazingly woven into the lives of many.