Sons and daughters
By Major Scott Meehan
Balad, Iraq: I was on my way to the Army Material Command building where I make my long-distance calls home when I passed a troop bus stop where a lone soldier was waiting for the unpredictable bus. I kept driving, but when I turned the corner I felt convicted. What if that were my daughter? I thought as I drove back.
“Would you like a ride to your destination?” I asked.
“Yes sir, thanks,” she said.
We shared some small talk as I tried cheering her up. She was quite pleased when I dropped her off in front of her living area. She thanked me again and said, “I had a hard day and that ride lifted me up.”
Driving back to make my phone call, I prayed, “Thanks, Lord, for allowing me to meet a need.” I remembered there was another bus stop just ahead.
“OK, Lord, You don’t have to remind me this time. I’ll pick up whoever is there.” Sure enough, another young soldier sat alone.
“Would you like a ride?” I asked.
Gathering up his weapon and rucksack, he sauntered over. “Sure, sir, thanks.”
I asked how he was doing.
“Not good, sir. I’m having a bad day.” He was actually fighting back tears.
“What’s the matter?” I asked
He explained with a shaky voice how he just wanted to fit in and how fellow soldiers wouldn’t accept him. I let him do the talking.
I found out that his name was Curt. He went to an Assemblies of God church in Maine and was at one time a Royal Ranger. I told him that I have been a Royal Rangers commander since 1987. He was my son Aaron’s age, born in 1982. He had accepted Jesus as his Savior years ago.
“You don’t need to try and be like those guys, because the Lord has something more for you,” I told him. I informed him of the procedures to seek assistance through the chain of command and gave him my e-mail address and building number where I worked and invited him to come visit me. I shared my own testimony of how the Lord dealt with me when I was his age first coming into the Army. “Curt, the Lord heard your cry and felt your pain and sorrow because He sent me to pick you up and that was no accident.” He smiled at that comment and nodded his head in agreement.
After asking his permission, I prayed over him for his protection, blessing and strength. Curt was scheduled to provide security the next day for a convoy traveling along the highways, the most dangerous job in Iraq. As he slowly got out of my vehicle he turned and smiled. “Thank you, sir, for your encouragement, prayer and for the ride. I’ll try to come see you in a couple of days.”
My heart went out to the young soldier I first helped, to Curt and to the many young men and women like them. That night before I went to bed I shed tears, not so much of sorrow but because the Lord is showing me in such a gripping way how great the “harvest” really is and how few the workers are to bring encouragement to the future generation. Our sons and daughters need a hope and a future, one that is readily available from God. If only they would turn to Him and seek Him with their hearts so they could “taste and see, that He is good.”
Maj. Scott Meehan, U.S. Army, spent a year stationed in Balad, Iraq, supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. He attends Faith Assembly of God in Orlando, Fla.
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