Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
So Veteran's Day is a big day around here. And we have a special service to honor those who serve our country.
Today we thanked the men and women of uniform. We prayed for our country.
We reflected. We reflected on the cost of freedom.
As part of today's service, we welcomed Captain Scotty Smiley. A West Point graduate, Captain Smiley was serving a tour in Irag in 2005 when a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb just a few feet from Smiley.
Captain Smiley was horribly wounded. And he gave up his eyesight in defense of this country and in the cause of freedom.
He shared today about the darkness he suffered following the attack, not just of his physical eyes, but in the vision of his soul. He talked about the way he tried to let go of his belief in God, how he tried to block out those who were reaching out to him.
And then he spoke about the unrelenting reach of God and how he once again began to 'see' the path, the purpose God had placed on his life.
I sat next to his gorgeous wife as he spoke, pictures of their life prior to his injury and after flickering on the screens. Her composure, her peace, even as the photos of her husband in the Army hospital clicked past, was beautiful.
And he sees.
A bigger, brighter picture.
And I am humbled. And I thank them. That the words of Jesus have resonated and bloomed in their walks. Because they were willing to lay down the life they knew. They were willing to lay down the familiar and the comfortable.
And that which can can be seen.
For that which has ultimate value.
Many, many thanks to those who have been willing to lay down their lives for their friends. Let freedom ring.