A very present help ...

When I was a teenager, my brother, Brice, was sent to Vietnam. Each time I heard reports that the area where he was stationed had come under attack, I panicked. But my mother always stayed calm. And her quiet assurance helped calm my fears.

My mother grew up in the military and married into the military. Somehow she had learned to face down her fears for her loved ones. I was to learn how to face down my fears, when I once awoke in the middle of the night and headed out to the kitchen. As I came to the living room, I found my mother, on her knees, deep in prayer. It was a profound revelation for me. She told me that she prayed this way every night for my brother's safety. Not only for his safety, but for the safety of all God's children, everywhere.

My brother did return home from the war, safe. But, I asked myself, was his safety ensured only because of my mother's prayers? If so, what about the many men and women who did not return safely—but whose mothers had also prayed for them? Does God pick and choose who will be protected? In answer to that, I know only two things for sure: 1. God's love tenderly embraces each of Her children equally and completely; and, 2. My brother felt the love from those prayers, and my mother's trust in God kept our family calm, despite often-terrifying news reports. My mother's example became a life-lesson for me.

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October 14, 2002

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