Friday, May 27, 2005

A Moment to Say "Thanks"

Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Image hosted by Photobucket.comI didn't want to let Memorial Day go by without remembering what we are supposed to remember - those who have fallen. But I also wanted to pass along this story from my dear friend, JR Davison, a U.S. Marine in Vietnam. I think it gives a very unique perspective and also reminds us to say "Thank You" not only for those on the wall, but to those whose names are not there.

"The Wall speaks to us in many ways and on one of my visits my heavenly Father's voice was very clear to me without the normal background noise of my life. It was on one of my monthly adventures with my (then) 3-year-old grandson Cayman.

We were walking through the Vietnam Memorial early one Saturday morning and as always it became very quiet as we walked down the walkway. I’ve been through the Memorial several times, but on this visit my attention was drawn to the endless roster of names on the black granite.

I took Cayman over to the wall to show him the carved names of the men who died in the Vietnam War. I told him that grandpa had fought in this war and that I’d seen some of these men die while I was there.

At that very moment I saw our reflection clearly on the wall. It was then the Father asked: “Do you know why your name isn’t on this wall?… It’s because of My plan for your life.” As I knelt with Cayman, I thought about the ramifications if my name had been on this wall. How my wife’s life would have been scarred along with my parents. How my son, daughter and grandson never would have been born.

I would have never known the love of God, or walked with His Son, or experienced the peace and everlasting joy that comes from a relationship with Him. I would have spent an eternity in a hell far worse than any war. However, my name wasn’t on this wall because of His plan alone. (Jeremiah 29:11)

As I got up to leave, the Father reminded me of a place where my name is written more boldly than these on this wall of death, and that place is in His book of Life. Even though there were times in Vietnam I could have been killed, Father's hands kept me safe because I was His beloved child. Therefore, nothing could have separated me from knowing Him or His love for me. Not even the Vietnam war. (Romans 8:38-39)"

J. R. Davison – USMC - Vietnam 1969-70

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