Look at the calendar. It's Maundy Thursday. Not only did Jesus partake of the Last Supper with his disciples, He washed their feet. Then He told them to do the same amongst themselves. His new commandment was to love one another as He loved them.
In the late morning, Deirdre and I trekked to the Army Medical Center where the wounded warriors from Afghanistan and Iraq are sent to heal to the point of returning to their families. The purpose of the visit was to deliver Girl Scout cookies from several troops in the city. Some of the younger troops made signs and cards for the warriors. Deirdre, being older, was allowed onto the floors to interact with the warriors themselves.
The first warrior we met had no legs, as did the second. The third was in a neck brace and two full length leg casts. Our escort prepared us at each room with the injuries and the length of their stay up to now. Our fourth warrior has been at the Medical Center since July. He has no legs and only one arm. During our visit, waves of pain washed over his face but he tried not to express it. Instead we talked about the planes he used to jump out of.
The last warrior we saw in that wing had been shot and can't move his arm due to the nerve damage.
"How long have you been here?"
"I got shot on the 11th."
Ten days ago. And here he is, thousands of miles away from the fighting. Having a Girl Scout give him cookies.
At the evening service, the seminarian preached about being in a clinical pastoral internship last summer. In pedagogical terms, the internship was "do, reflect, do". He quickly learned, in his life, that could also be phrased as "receive, give, receive".
The sermon was poignant in its timing. In doing something that I considered to be giving of ourselves, Deirdre and I received untold riches in a few brief moments with those men. In doing, we receive. I want to do and do and do some more.
[Blog title taken from this song.]
2 days ago