Not a waste of time

Published 10:01 pm Thursday, May 31, 2018

To the editor:

Our Welcome and Outreach Team of our church planned a special hospitality table for our military members and their families for Memorial Day Sunday.

Flags of all the military branches circled a table covered with a pile of specialized Bibles for military families, coloring pages and crayons for children, goodie bags to take home and a printed prayer I wrote for the occasion. But because it was a holiday weekend, the turnout at church was light, and only a handful of military families visited the display. I was disappointed and felt like all the good work was a waste of effort.

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The following Tuesday, at our small group, the mom of a young married Marine announced that her son was unexpectedly sent to the Middle East. It was his second deployment.

She said she read the prayer I wrote to her daughter-in-law over the phone, and it was perfect. She thanked me for the prayer and said it really helped. What seemed like a waste of effort turned out to be a perfectly timed gift for a particular family.

The prayer includes this phrase:

O Lord, a blessing we pray upon the family and loved ones of those who serve our nation.

Theirs, too, is a life a service and sacrifice.

Let your blessings fall upon those who share their loved one with the nation,

And may they know that you will watch over them with your loving Spirit, when together and separated by oceans, deserts and distant mountains.

O Lord, may blessings be abundant and your protection be ever present for those who humbly serve the nation. Amen.

Rev. Dr. Keith M. Curran

St. Andrew Presbyterian Church