I consider myself to be a man of Faith.
I wasn't always that way.
As a child I gloried in the Lord and all His Works.
As a teenager I slid away from the Light.
While I acknowledged the Savior and remembered God from time to time, I didn't always do so. I did things which were wrong in the sight of my Creator. What's worse, I did not raise my children to fear and love the Lord our God.
With that being said...*
Just before retiring from the Air Force, my saint of a mother-in-law passed away. It was unexpected and sudden.
What's worse is that we were in Germany, preparing to head back to the States and begin our lives as civilians. My mother-in-law died in Korea, half a planet away.
Needless to say The Missus Herself was devastated.
Not two years before, her father had passed away, just before The Naviguesser went off to college. The Missus Herself and the kids did make it to Korea before my father-in-law passed, we had had fair warning of his condition. She had the opportunity to say farewell to her Dad.
Not so this time. Her oldest sister called and told us. Omma (엄마) was gone. Just like that. She had come to visit us the autumn before, this small Korean lady with almost no English traveled halfway around the world to visit us. There were plans for her to come visit us in the States that summer.
Now, she was gone.
The Missus Herself elected to stay home and continue the preparation for our transition to civvy street. A hard choice but as she said, "She's already gone. What can I do?"
It was hard on her. I didn't realize at the time just how hard it was.
Here she was, a native of Korea, now an American citizen by choice, living in another foreign land, Germany, preparing to leave the military with all the unknowns which that entails.
When we finally "arrived" (we had been in the U.S. for two and a half months before I finally landed a job in Little Rhody) The Missus Herself was all adrift.
Her oldest child was an hour away at university. The girls were in high school, Your Humble Scribe was away at work all day and there she was, in a brand new community where she hardly knew anyone at all.
A stranger in a strange land in many, many ways.
One thing she had been trying to get me to do while still in the Air Force was to go to church. I said that I did not see much point in that. As I put it, "I've had my fill of organized religion, no thanks. Not going back."
I'll be the first to admit that I can be the stupidest person on Earth at times.
One day, while we were all out, The Missus Herself went on a voyage of exploration around our new town. What she found changed our lives forever.
It seems that there was this small church built of stone on the town common (we still have those in some New England towns). She parked nearby and went and sat on the front steps of this little church. Something told her that she belonged there. It was meant to be. When I came home, she told me all about this little church. She also told me that we would be attending services there the very next Sunday.
|My ChurchGoogle Street View|
I indicated, "No, I will not be going to church on Sunday."
Like I said, stupid. I can be stupid from time to time.
Long story short, I did go with her to that church.
And have been going ever since.
That was 1999.
The congregation of that small church have become family. In every sense, in every meaning of that word. We love them. They love us. We are at home there.
I have friends and acquaintances who don't believe. Not just in organized religion but don't believe that there is a Creator. Apparently we are simply the product of random chance. So is everything else which you can see, hear, feel and touch.
I pity those poor benighted souls. They, like my former self, don't know what they are missing. They really don't.
I will tell more stories of my faith journey. It continues still. I learn something every day and it all tracks back to the Glory of God. This I believe, this I know.
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35 NIVI served my country for 24 years. Now I'm content to serve the Lord.
* For when it's not a war story, nor a fairy tale.