My father-in-law is a Chaplain in the Air National Guard. He is currently deployed to Manas, Krygystan where he is serving at the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing Chapel. This Transit Center ministers to many permanent party staff and also to hundreds of service men and women as they come and go from their deployments to home.
In addition to providing chapel services and counseling, the chaplain also tries to make life easier for these men and women by offering them things they might need, like a razor or a cell phone to call home. My father-in-law has shared that many times people who come into the chapel just want someone to talk to, someone who will listen to their problems and be a friend.
Recently, an Army private came into the chapel sharing his problem. He couldn’t go home because the boots he needed to wear were already packed and loaded. He had on his mountain boots and now needed his tan boots. (This may seem irrelevant to those of you who have never experienced military life, but let me assure you, this is an important issue.) He would not be able to wear his mountain boots for his flight home and his E-2 salary would not afford the major purchase of buying new tan boots. He was at a loss so he came to the chaplain for some encouragement and wisdom.
The chapel has some necessity items but no spare boots.
The Chaplain’s Assistant asked, “What size do you wear?”
“That’s the same size as me….Take my boots” He bent down and untied his tan boots that he wore everyday so that this private could get home to his family.
Do you ever see a need and try to meet the need in the same breath? No hesitation. If you were that Chaplain’s Assistant would you have untied your expensive boots and passed them to a stranger. Or would you have thought about the cost? The inconvenience?
What is more valuable helping someone in need or holding tight to your “stuff”? No doubt, it is hard to make sacrifices and sometimes it might hurt a little but this life is too short to worry about stuff…people are what it is all about. Show people that you care and you might just find a heaping reward on the other side of your generosity. I’m not just talking about the great feeling you get when you give generously…
After the Chaplain’s Assistant took off his tan boots and gave them to the private he went to his dorm to get his green boots and put them on for the time being. As he put them on he had a surprise waiting that (maybe almost literally) knocked his socks off! Inside his green boots, that he had not worn during his entire deployment were letters and candy from his wife and kids! He would not have found these items if he had not given away his tan boots!
See a need around you today? What are you going to do about it? Who knows what you are missing out on by not taking a step and reaching out to someone else. Enjoy the mission!
By the way, Inheritance of Hope is dedicated to serving young families facing the loss of a parent. Please join our hope-filled community. Volunteer to serve or give what you can to meet the needs of families facing the uncertainty of terminal illness. They will be blessed and you will too!