"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown

"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I waited until he was out of my sight. Waited for just a few moments more. A few moments when I began to feel the multitude of eyes shamelessly staring - it seemed like the entire terminal was staring at me - witnessing my pain, intruding on our goodbye. A few moments when I could see people quickly turn their heads when they thought I was maybe going to raise mine and then slowly look back out of the corner of their eyes when they saw I didn't. I couldn't completely raise my head. I stared at the tissue wrapped between my fingers and turned my body. I didn't quite look where I was going. I knew that everyone was staring at me. I knew whoever would move out of my way because whether or not I saw them, they saw me. 

I saw the shoes first - saw them just peek beyond the white tissue that I had neatly folded between my fingers. A woman's black loafers on tiny, tiny feet. These feet didn't move like the others that had barely entered into my blurred vision. I looked up. Her head was just an inch or two shorter than mine, her cheeks shined from the dampness covering her wrinkled skin, she didn't wipe the tears. And then I noticed her arms. Her thin, shaking arms stretched as wide as they would go. She didn't say a word.

With the smallest movement she waved her hands inward, inviting me to her. Without hesitation I fell into her petite frame. Her arms closed around me with a gentle firmness that only a woman of aged wisdom can possess. She cried with me. She wiped my tears. 

"What is his name?" she held my face in her hands as she asked.

"C_____." She nodded, paused, as though committing it to memory.

"What is your name?" she continued.


"I will be praying." She softly patted my cheek and ushered me past.

Everyone serves a purpose. To someone at some time we all have a purpose. The smallest act, the simplest gesture can do a world of good. Each one of these tiny acts, each fulfilled purpose, first comes with a choice. To look away or to watch for someone else to say something, someone else to do something, for someone else to step up.  In everything we have a choice. In everything we have a purpose - no matter how small it may seem. We all have a purpose.

This woman stepped forward into the path of a heartbroken woman - a heartbreak that is so often misunderstood in the civilian world - and she fulfilled a great purpose. She provided much needed comfort. She provided unexplainable kindness.

Do something good. When you want to look away from someone else's misfortune, someone else's heartache, take just a second and choose. When you want to share that latest bit of gossip about another spouse, take a moment and choose your purpose.  Drop a flower with an encouraging note on the doorstep of a military spouse you know is having a hard time - or on the doorstep of a spouse that you don't know whether or not they are having a hard time. When you have that littlest feeling in your gut or that subtle tugging on your heart that "someone should do something," or that "something just seems a little ... " a little off, a little down, a little ... When you have that feeling that you should give 'someone' a call, that you should bake that extra batch of cookies, that you should invite 'someone' to meet for coffee - decide your purpose.

You may never know how much good you will do but you always choose how much good you won't.

Had anyone every shown you an unexpected kindness? Please share it in the comments. It's always comforting to be reminded of the good in people. : )


  1. I had a horrible, horrible week last week. Everything was going wrong, big and small. I mentioned on Facebook how I would do anything for ice cream. A slew of comments followed, with everyone piping in on their favorite flavors. Thirty minutes later, my doorbell rang. A dear friend from Church and his son brought me a tub of Rocky Road ice cream, my favorite. I nearly cried.

  2. We had a similar experience at the end of my husband's R&R last year. A flight attendant pulled us out of the long check-in line and ushered us through first class check-in and employee security. She then asked for my husband's name so she could add him to the prayer list at her church.

    A few minutes later, the man behind us at the coffee shop refused to let us pay for our drinks.

    Such smal lacts of compassion made a world of difference that day. I will never forget their kindness.

  3. When my husband and I were on our honeymoon, we drove down to Jacksonville Fla. Our second morning as a married couple found us in one of the Carolinas, bleary eyed and glowing, eating our top tier of wedding cake on the patio of the Starbucks next to the hotel. A sweet couple approached us with congratulations and asked if hubby was in the service (the haircut is usually a giveaway ;) We told them he was at Rucker, which happened to be only a matter of minutes from their home. They thanked hubby for his service and went back to their table. A couple minutes later, the woman returned with an envelope telling us she wanted us to have a nice lunch. Inside the envelope was over $50. Just because. Needless to say, we shared some cake with them ;)

  4. Last week I was at the post office mailing a care package when a young ROTC cadet (he was in uniform- dead giveaway) overheard me talking the post office lady about where I was sending my package and going on and on about my boyfriend. He then asked if he heard me correctly that I was sending it to a deployed soldier, and when I said yes, he stepped up and told me he wanted to pay my postage, and that the soldiers overseas don't get enough recognition and he wanted to do his part.

    Needless to say he got a big hug and thank you from me. I just wish the box wasn't taped shut already so I could have added a note from him. It was very touching, and he said afterwards to keep smiling and supporting him. He said he hoped that when he deployed he had people who were as caring. I may have cried a little.

  5. That was such a beautiful word picture. I can only pray that one day, I can show God's love the way that lady did.

  6. What a wonderful story and a wonderful woman.

  7. I found your blog through moneysavingmom.com and I am so glad I did!
    I'm a USMC wife, but I've felt much of what you have with deployments. You have an incredible outlook and your positive attitude is a priceless gift; not only to yourself and your family, but to those of us in the military community lucky enough to come across it! I'll be praying for you and your family!

    To get me through those 'hard to breathe moments' I read Psalm 91 during the second deployment but just about every night 'just because' for the first deployment.

    For your hubby:

    Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
    Who trains my hands for war,
    And my fingers for battle;
    --Psalm 144

  8. Adrienne, how wonderful!! I am so sorry you had a horrible week but SO GLAD someone could lighten the load!

    Jenny, the little things really mean so very much. Chuck always says he is uncomfortable when people thank him because he is just doing his job - but I know he knows how wonderful it is at the same time. And every time someone does something kind and unexpected, I notice the slight change in his mood!

    Laura, How AWESOME!! Very, very sweet!

    Dani, that just makes me so very proud. You hugged him for all of us!

    Queen, thank you! And find a way to! I know you will (and you probably already have!)

    Dr AW, she was a wonderful woman. I wish i could track her down and tell her (now that I can speak clearly) how beautiful her actions were.

    Leah, Keith, and Kate - Thank you so very much for your kind, kind words! Thank you for sharing psalm 144 for my husband! It means a lot to me. I am so glad you found the blog! I hope you will be commenting in the future! I will be praying for your marine and your family!


I LOVE comments! Thanks for sharing : )