Every morning this week the fog has been thick across the bay. Today was no different. As I walked toward the dining room, I noticed a crowd gathered at the window looking outside. "Curious," I thought to myself since all they can see is fog. But as I joined them, I saw what had grabbed their attention - a hot air balloon rising into the mist!
The soldiers and their families were eagerly waiting their turn to take flight and be lifted. The main purpose in these gatherings of wounded warriors is to do something similar spiritually and emotionally. In the presence of the "fog" of disability, mental state and circumstance they are lifted to see a different perspective on their situation.
"....Now once, I was down hearted, disappointment was my closest friend..."
They have had a few days away from the regimented life of the military, the schedules for treatment, the questions without answers, and the absence of joy. They have been lifted out of wheelchairs into the basket of a balloon, and even strapped into a tandem para-sail to take flight! They have shared stories and shed tears, but rest assured they have laughed more in these past few days than they have since they returned from the war zone.
"...But you came, he soon departed, and he never showed his face again..."
The children have bonded with other kids whose parents have been affected by disability. They have understood they are not alone. They have learned Bible stories, enjoyed crafts, played games and busted a pinata filled with enough candy to keep every dentist on the East Coast employed.
There were boat rides, fish caught, rock walls climbed, extreme swings swung, zip lines zipping, chicken dancing and open mic karaoke.
The talent came out as their inhibitions faded. I was touched at the renditions of love songs husbands sang to their seated wives. One soldier made his way slowly limping toward the stage with his cane. He apologized but related he really wanted to share this one song. Most of the lyrics have escaped me but the most painful and poignant, "I just wanna go home."
They have thanked us repeatedly, they have embraced us often, they have been served completely, and they have been loved well.
"...I can stand up and face the world again..."
High and smiling
For hearts to be eternally changed as the Gospel is shared tomorrow
For those struggling with faith issues to experience healing and comfort
For the children who need to make a decision for Christ to do so
For continued spiritual and emotional healing of the trauma of war
For comfort and mercy
For safe travel