This morning, as I entered Chapel, I noticed a young man sitting about the same place I typically sit (somewhere in the middle on the left side, unless my husband is preaching...then I sit up close to the front). I didn't want to make him feel awkward by sitting right next to him, but I felt certain the Lord was leading me to sit there anyway.
I politely asked him if anyone was sitting next to him and he said no. The praise team had just began to sing, but I still felt as though I should introduce myself, so I did. When I did, I noticed he had to be similar in age to our oldest son and I immediately thought, "Is this to bless me or him today?" About half-way into the 2nd song, I heard his voice. It was much like my own son's. Even though I'm less than a week away from seeing my son (for the first time in six months), it made me cry.
Later, during our welcome time, we talked again for just a few more minutes. I learned that he's been in the Army for almost three years, and that soon he will be going home. He said he's getting out and that it's been really tough. I wanted to know more and wondered what caused him to feel that way. Did he just miss his family, or had he experienced something more? I may never know. What I do know is that it's tough, real tough, to be in the military right now...especially for our young soldiers coming right out of high school, and they need our prayers.
I don't know exactly why the Lord had me sit there this morning, but I do know that I was touched. Hearing him sing, seeing him open his bible and read while they were making announcements, and just the look of a young man who seemed to love Jesus blessed me today. Maybe it's being a Christian in the Army that has made it difficult for him. I don't know...but I can almost bet it has! Whatever the reason, I know that I will be praying for him, and the other many young soldiers just like him.
You may never have the opportunity to be impacted by looking into the eyes of a young soldier who wants to go home, but my prayer is that you will still pray for them. Pray for strength when they are afraid or feeling alone in this big world. Pray for comfort when they miss their family. Pray for guidance when they feel uncertain of what tomorrow holds (especially with all the uncertainties they face with the war still going on). Pray for the peace of God to reign in their lives when nothing makes sense. Pray for their protection and for those in leadership above them. Pray for their moms and dads, who have a hard time not being able to see their sons or daughters often. Especially, pray for those in harm's way. Pray, pray, pray...