Basic Training

Our children were reared in a setting that made regular changes of residence almost obligatory. It is difficult for a child to build lasting relationships when the friends they make today are waving in the rear view mirror tomorrow. For that reason, Donna and I were purposeful in knitting close family ties between ourselves and our children.

While my wife and I were dreading the departure of our son into military service, we were blessed to be present for an exchange we shall never forget. Our daughter, who was struggling much more than either of us realized, found a way to touch her brother’s heart. She accomplished it without any danger of retaliation or retort.

She found an edition of scripture produced especially for Army personnel. Its green leather cover bore his name imprinted in beautiful gold letters, beneath the seal of the U.S. Army. Inside she had highlighted an assortment of verses. The pale blues and yellows illuminated the favorite passages of many of his friends. As he silently leafed through the gossamer pages, occasionally stopping to read marked verses, she told him,

“I have the list of verses from your friends. I will be reading those verses with you while you are gone.”

It was all that I could do to avoid falling to pieces.

In that moment I knew that Donna and I had accomplished our mission. Our children love each other and they have each experienced the love of the Lord. Though we will not be present for many of the battles they will face, we know that they each have been through basic training and have completed it successfully.

 

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