As I sat to write this message, I was given a phone message and opted to return the call right away. I am so glad I did! The call made my heart sing and my mind change about what I would write this week. Although I'm not sure my writing will do the call justice, I'm telling you about it because my heart is still singing and I'm sure I am sitting here with a goofy smile on my face.
The call was from a young Marine (I'll call him Sam) who, while cleaning a base storage area, came across a Book of Common Prayer that had been given to a young man the day before he left for Korea. Sam said he was curious about the man so he did a little bit of research. When he learned the soldier died in 2012, he asked his sergeant for permission to reach out to the family. His thinking was that it was worth his time to offer the soldier's children what he sensed was one of the soldier's prized possessions. He called here because the book was given by a St. Stephen's Church and he had learned the soldier served as a deacon there. He was so grateful that I offered to try to find the soldier's daughters and to connect him if they would like. When I thanked him for taking the time to try to track down the soldier's children, he said, "Of course! This book may mean something special to them and I've got the time and ability to do it."
Although it turns out (based on about five minutes worth of exploration on my part) the St. Stephen's is not us but another parish in the Diocese of New Jersey, I am so grateful to this young man for recognizing that he has the means to brighten the day of someone else and that he chooses to spend his time to do just that. I know that if I were the soldier's daughter, receiving his prayer book would be a gift, as would knowing that someone would take the time Sam is taking to get it to me.
Talking to Sam reminded me in the most tender of ways that each of us can make a difference and it doesn't have to be with the grand gesture or at any great expense. Opening your heart and taking a little bit of time thinking about what you can do to touch the heart of another is enough.
Peace & Blessings,