I was deeply saddened this weekend to hear of the tragic deaths of a large number of military personnel in Afganistan, many of whom were Navy SEALs.
As I've shared before, until my daughter was diagnosed with cancer, I honestly never really thought much about cancer. Sure, I thought it was a sad thing when someone died from cancer, particularly a child, but because it didn't directly impact my life, it didn't take me long to forget about it and move on. Not anymore.
In the same way, when I heard about a military death, I would feel sad for the family, and maybe have a little patriotic thrill in my heart, but honestly, that was about it. Again, it didn't directly impact my life, and I didn't personally know any military families who had lost a loved one.
And then I met the family of Navy SEAL Adam Brown, who was killed in action in Afghanistan last year. Adam's parents have become some of our closest friends, and Adam's widow has befriended Bethany. We partner together with the Browns in hosting the "While We're Waiting" events and have heard them share their story of the men in dress blues coming to their door early on a March morning in 2010 several times. The pain in their voices as they share this experience is absolutely heartrending. Observing their overwhelming grief, even as they seek to guide their daughter-in-law and grandchildren through the grief experience, has been eye-opening. And seeing their deep faith in God as they proudly fly their American flag in Adam's memory has been humbling.
The men who were killed this weekend were part of SEAL Team Six, which was Adam's unit. They were Adam's teammates and friends. And at least one of them is now in Heaven as a direct result of Adam's Christian witness. Adam's family knew many of these young men and their families, and will now have the opportunity to put 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 into practice. It won't be easy...in fact, I'm sure it will be extremely difficult, as they re-live very painful memories, but I believe that God will give them the grace that they need.
Please remember all of these families in your prayers, as well as the thousands of other military families who have either lost loved ones or who live in fear of losing their loved ones. I honestly had no idea the depth of sacrifice that these families endure ... all for our freedom. May our nation be worthy of their sacrifice.