There's my front porch on Veteran's Day. Not so glorious in the winter, but I still like it.
Last week, I was visiting my old department at work. I was in the director's office (my old office) and when I came out, Gloria was walking in the department. We both were shocked. Gloria worked in that department with me for 6 years. She hated me. I am not kidding - she told me she hated me. She quit as soon as I became the department director, and I was happy to see her go. She came back to the hospital a year or so later in another department, and has been there ever since. To put it mildly, it was a shock last week for us to find ourselves both standing on the battleground of our old war.
We said 'hello'. I asked her how her son is. He has been in Iraq. I told her I have been praying for him, and I am grateful that is actually the truth. He has left Iraq, is now in Germany, and will soon be on his way home. She talked about what this year has been like for her. She told me she is praying for my son, and I am grateful that I actually believe this is the truth. As we talked, she started to cry. I started to cry. We hugged. We connected on a very deep level. The sheer terror of being the mother of a soldier in a war, the faith it necessitates, and the gratitude for the prayers and caring of another soul. It is a beautiful thing to watch the power of God change hearts.
"Finally, we begin to see that all people, including ourselves, are to some extent emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong, and then we approach true tolerance and see what real love for our fellows actually means. It will become more and more evident as we go forward that it is pointless to become angry, or to get hurt by people who, like us, are suffering from the pains of growing up." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 92