A year ago, an improvised explosive device exploded in Afghanistan and killed a young soldier we’d recently met.  Only a month or two earlier, we’d had a good-bye barbecue in his honor.  He entered heaven leaving behind his wife of a few months and his unborn baby girl.  His name was Andrew.

That event shaped my perspective more than anything else this year.

When I feel whiny, I can hear my ungratefulness.  I can palpate the bitter knot of discontent in my heart.  I see how short-sighted I am, how my vision blurs when I forget.

I’ve watched the young widow face her shaken world with courage and cheer.  I visited her in the hospital after their baby was born.  I’ve seen her carry on and live her life with grace.  And when I see her fortitude, I am inspired to face my life differently.

I admit that sometimes I hold my breath, waiting for tragedy to collide with my world.  I’ve lost an assortment of people and felt the pain of disappointment and rejection and why wouldn’t I view the world through these scratched, cloudy glasses?  A meteor could crash into the earth at any time and there’s no reason it shouldn’t crash on me.  (I am a glass-half empty kind of girl.  I am a glass shattered on the floor into a million pieces kind of girl.)

It’s a wonder we don’t all crawl under the bed and wait to die, when you look at it that way.

But I can’t look at it that way.

Loss hurts but love heals.

Life is fleeting and uncertain, but we have today.

And that is reason for joy.

4 thoughts on “Perspective

  1. I hear you! Today I spent some time with a dear friend, one who has been in remission for several years from brain cancer. One year ago today, she was vibrant, had regained her ability to speak in complete sentences and knew people and remembered events. Now, one year later, she is in the early stages of alzheimers and knows she is losing her mental abilities. Her prayer over lunch included this phrase: “Heavenly Father, please be patient with me because I have many questions I want to ask…” (She never could get around to asking any questions)

    Gives me a new desire to stop complaining and start enjoying the things in my life that still DO work. And if I do complain, I know God will be patient with me………


  2. Very timely. I’ve been wrestling with my own gratefulness level, and my tendency to focus on the negative. I spend a lot of my time griping and complaining about stuff that’s going wrong and how rotten things are, when in fact I’m incredibly blessed and strife-free.

    Sometimes I wonder when the boot is going to drop in my world and tragedy will strike.

    Nevertheless, not my will, but His be done. And I pray that He gives me the strength to stand when it does come.


  3. “(I am a glass-half empty kind of girl. I am a glass shattered on the floor into a million pieces kind of girl.)”

    Yes, I can relate. I am positive (with no apparent reason to think so) that tragedy is just around the corner. As I get older, I think I’m learning to catch myself when I go too far down that dark road.

    A similar thing happened to a soldier’s family that we knew indirectly. Young guy who flew medi-vac helicopters in Afghanistan. Wife, young son at home. He made it back from Afghanistan, and went to work at a bank. Found he really wanted to become a Navy Seal, so started training. He was swimming in a pool at the gym, held his breath too long (practicing for an underwater Seal test), and died. Left his pregnant wife and little boy, just like that. When we heard he had died, I thought “Wait, I thought he was home from Afghanistan!” He had been shot at everyday for months, but died in the pool at his gym.

    I can’t wait to be in God’s presence for the relief of the pain of this life. And I am trying really hard to find the joy in this life, just as you are, Mel.


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