A busy morning, wife enduring a rude passenger at security, fast flight with a peaceful baby and hungry five year old, picked up by your Dad and Kevin’s God Father….a logistics masterpiece of a day. Arrived in home to do what all sons do when they get into their parents home…whether 20 or 44…fell asleep in the big cushy chair.
The fall light on Foliage View Farm is a dream for photographers. Long, warm light dances on the hills and remaining leaves. It is instantly romantic, and the lack of noise from the city is enough to make you feel you’ve gone back in time. Well the Model A running down the road with your son hanging out the pick up bed holding the dog really does complete the illusion!
It is a good day to be home and going back in time.
I got a really nice work trip all wrapped up, and I’ll be on the road in about thirty minutes for home….what a glorious thought. This photo at the Eighth Air Force Memorial Chapel summarized my thoughts of deployments and assignments from my 25 year career. I am always ready to head home, but I do miss friends I’ve served with around the world. I’ve stood side by side with Brits, a soldier from Belize, Polish, Japanese, Korean, Albanian, El Salvador, Canadians, a few Germans, Thai, and quite a few others who cherished freedom much as we do. No matter where we served, or how tightly the assignment bound us, our thoughts always turned to home.
This is a very valid reminder our domestic church is the temple at the center of our lives. The domestic church is the root of our values, propelling us into the virtues allowing us to serve with those of different backgrounds and nationalities. Why? Because in my examples we displayed to each other virtues based on natural law in word and deed. We had an innate recognition our partners had value beyond mere economic or safety. We were people with rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Conversely if our families taught us differently, my friendships with these nice people would not exist.
So time to head home, and continue my duties as a father…and this weekend return to my parents for a week. There I will enjoy the comforting feeling of being a son in the presence of his mother and father for a little while once again.
During World War II resistance families in Nazi Occupied Europe provided shelter to downed airmen from the Allied air forces. To do so risked the life of the individual and their families. Punishment for aiding Allied airmen could be instant execution, or brutal torture followed my sentencing to a concentration camp. Despite the risks, several thousand people participated in underground networks to smuggle airmen to the coast or Spain for evacuation to England.
This photo comes from the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, I caught it before going to work this week. It crucifix rests inside an exhibit dedicated to the resistance wiling to give their lives so others may live. The stories are heart wrenching, and joyous at the same time. This exhibit resembled a typical French country cottage.
With all the negative stories on the news, tragedies in several families we associate with, potential tough times ahead for all I found myself in a writing and creative funk. The stories of the airmen and world of the Mighty Eighth Air Force in World War II gave me hope. These men believed in their mission, and their brothers around them. They suffered casualty rates of 11 to 20 percent on various missions but soldiered on for over three years to obtain final victory. Defeats suffered by the Air Force early on resulted in innovation and doctrine propelling them to victory in the skies of Europe with their Allied brothers in arms.
The core of their success came from recognizing the reality of the environment of the situation they faced. They did not create excuses. They did not falsify combat reports and intelligence to make someone’s “good idea” carry weight in a debate. They dealt with cold hard facts to work towards effective solutions to complex problems. These men knew failure to acknowledge reality resulted in death and mission failure.
As the world moves forward to face its current dilemmas, we again must look towards the truth of a situation to find a solution. I pray the world is willing to recognize a lack of being Biblically God centered is a core component to the problem. This recognition may help bring the formerly Christian Western World back from the brink of catastrophe. Christ did give all so others may live forever. Time to take him up on his offer.
Each fall I get very reflective on my mortality. I see my passing life like the leaves. I hope and pray my colors will be strong and bold for the Lord when my time comes to pass to the next phase of life.
God does things mysteriously to us mere mortals. This week I witnessed a testimony of faith from men and women of amazing power as we lifted up others in prayer. I felt the sting of arrows of despair when evil crossed my path. I heard the wisdom of the Lord written down over a period of three thousand years from his disciples across the ages, and found hope to deflect the disparaging arrows in the Divine Office. I also received a gift to help my discernment on future missions to advance the Lord’s intentions with the gifts he entrusted to me.
The week still has time to go, but it is giving me much to ponder and wonder about in the awe of his Grace. God is good all the time. I hope my ability to see his works, and those of evil trying to tear us apart, will help my colors shine brightly for him all my days here and the hereafter.