This article by Vickey Pahnke Taylor - was written for our recent Memorial Day remembrances - but (with her permission) we're re-posting it here as we commemorate the 4th of July and the Freedoms we enjoy that have been bought with a price. Thank you, Vickey, for a timely and powerful reminder about Defending Out of Love!
Defending Out of Love
I remember when my dad would come home from a military assignment, after a long stretch of time. Mostly, I remember him looking tired. And grateful to be home with us.
I remember going to events on different bases in Tidewater Virginia, where every branch of the military is represented. There were air shows, concerts on base lawns – various activities to bring folks together to- I thought- remind us of the blessing of having a military force to watch over and keep us safe, and to celebrate the gift of freedom in the U.S.
Now we have our youngest son – baby boy- deployed in foreign waters, in difficult circumstances, following in his grandfather’s footsteps. When he spoke with us, before leaving for a nine-month-or-so tour, he said: "I’m doing this for our country. But I’m mostly doing this for y’all. I love you and want to do my part to keep this country free. I’m doing it to honor and protect you – my family."
|The Title of Liberty|
I thought of other men – Nephite men – who were willing to fight for their homes and families. Because they loved them and were willing to do whatever was required to defend them – out of love. The Title of Liberty their family enjoyed was worth fighting for.
Something shifted in me the night baby boy called. I saw puzzle pieces snap into place in his mind and heart. Important pieces about family, courage, and service. About sacrifice and loss and faith. I felt a surge of growth in my son, and it caused a surge of growth within me.
Since his time in the service of our country, baby boy has learned somewhat about mentoring those who are newer to the ranks; about speaking out for what he feels to be correct; about defending those who can’t defend themselves. About appreciating the good-better-best scenarios of life, when we’re called on to prove our mettle by choosing what is best.
And that really makes me happy.
A few really good things worth fighting for:
- The elderly who can’t defend themselves
- Children who need someone to protect them and stand up for them against bullies or any kind of harm
- The ill and infirm
- Anyone who can’t stand up for themselves, and need a little help
- Kindness and cooperation and genuine love
- Eternal concepts that grant real freedoms
Christ was the Prince of Peace – yet, his principles must sometimes include conflict as we protect our liberties and our families, right? When we must stand up for eternal values. Defending out of love.
|Battle Hymn of the Republic|
|Defending Out of Love|
This Memorial Day I’m grateful for baby boy, who has joined the ranks of veterans who have left a legacy of courage and service in the military. For my dad- and all the other dads and moms, children, brothers and sisters – who have died to help “make me free.”
Freedoms are eternal in nature, aren’t they?
For every person who – knowingly or unknowingly – has marched to make men free, I offer up my gratitude. Happy Memorial Day.