By Keith Short
Activity at our local airport paused one morning as family and friends gathered around the casket of a devoted father and soldier. The body of a staff sergeant arrived on a tarmac surrounded by members of the Patriot Guard and a military honor unit. The 47-year-old soldier lost his life from an improvised explosive device while serving in Afghanistan.
Loved His Country
“He always loved his country,” said a childhood friend. “He felt like he had to give something back, and that’s what he did.” As the casket was lowered from the plane, members of the soldier’s family gathered around. His two sons knelt and prayed. Others stood arm in arm, not saying a word.
He first joined the army in 1984. He retired from the military and worked in the private sector, only to return to the army in 2009 at the age of 44. He served two tours in Iraq before his fateful trip to Afghanistan. A friend who went to school with the staff sergeant from kindergarten all the way through high school placed his hand on his friend’s casket and prayed.
A Different Perspective
Sadly most of us have experienced losing a family member or friend to death. Death is so final. Hopes, dreams, and future dreams stop. I do not understand! What are we going to do now? These thoughts ring through our minds. Death has that effect on us.
This must have been the thinking of the followers of Jesus when he died. Then Jesus’ body was missing from the tomb, and the angels said he had risen! “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” the angels asked the women. The angels then explained to them that these things had happened according to what Jesus had already told them. Matter of fact, these things had to happen in order for salvation to be a reality. “Then they remembered his words.”
What hope now! They could wipe away the tears that began just days ago. Because it was a new day. It was the third day.
Keith Short is the preaching minister of Community Christian Church in London, Kentucky. He and his wife, Aleta, have been married for 44 years and have two married sons and one granddaughter.