Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life
for his friends
. John 15:13

That’s the verse written on the bottom of a plaque that was sitting in my office this morning.  It was in my office for safe keeping, before being  placed on a stand in front of a casket sitting in our sanctuary.  That casket held the remains of a Navy Seal who was killed when the helicopter in which he was riding was shot down in Afghanistan.  His funeral service was today at our church.

Puts things in perspective.

While today was one of the most hectic days I’ve had since I started working at church, it was also one of the most meaningful.

By hectic, I mean dealing with local police, state troopers, FBI, CIA, NCIS and several other three-letter agencies I can’t even remember.  Having to have our building swept by a dozen bomb sniffing dogs.  Having to figure out where to put a thousand plus people and their cars.  Having to plan where the media would be allowed, since some attendees couldn’t have their pictures taken.  Having to escort admirals, congressmen, and even Oliver North into our sanctuary.  Having to plan for what to do if the Westboro Baptist Church folks showed up.  Having to clear the sanctuary mid-service for an 5.9 magnitude earthquake.

Yes, there really was a significant earthquake during the service.  You can imagine how this rattled not only the building, but the security detail.

By meaningful, I mean seeing a color guard walk down the aisle.  Starting a service with hundreds of service men and women standing ramrod straight as the National Anthem played.  Listening to this young man’s widow actually get up and speak about how he was honored to serve.  And most importantly, being reminded that a young man willingly put himself in harm’s way so that I can continue to enjoy the freedoms I normally take for granted.

And knowing that most of the young men I’ve worked with to plan and execute this service left my church, took off their dress blues, and went right back to putting themselves in harm’s way.

And all I have to worry about is getting some fallen ceiling plaster cleaned up.

Like I said, perspective.

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4 Comments on “Shaken”

  1. […] I never got the memo!) Her Marine friend Mike had a good word that made me think.  UPDATED: I just read this post from my friend-through-a-friend “NotNed” that I want you to read, t…  So get to reading […]

  2. miss V. Says:

    We are truly blessed aren’t we, and full of gratitude for all who do so much for us, who they never even know.

  3. quotation marks Says:

    Many thoughts of other funerals I’ve sadly attended..Many prayers for those who serve in numerous ways on our behalf..

  4. Brother J Says:

    “A veteran, whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve, is someone who at one point in his or her life wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America ‘ for an amount of ‘Up to and including my life.”

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