A number of years ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to go to Washington DC. One of the most memorable monuments for me was the Vietnam Memorial Wall. In 1965, my cousin, Joseph Meek, was in Vietnam for only two months and 17 days before he was shot and killed. I found his name on the Vietnam Memorial Wall.
They have a booth there that hands out a pencil and a piece of paper so that one can make a rubbing of their loved one’s name from the wall. I took the paper, placed it over his name, and started to make the rubbing. It was then I noticed Old Glory waving in the reflection of the granite wall just above his name.
Oh my, it’s hard for me to explain to you how emotional that was for me at that moment in time. It was hard for me to see the rubbing of his name from the tears flowing out of my eyes. But then I looked up once again to look at Old Glory flying in the breeze, and in addition to observing the flowing reflection of our flag, I saw the reflection of my own face in the wall.
My first thoughts were how fortunate I was to have the reflection of my face in the wall and not my name on the wall! At this point in time, I was glad I had just finished making the rubbing of my cousin’s name, because emotionally I had to walk away from the wall and sit down on a park bench to try and compose myself. It very definitely was one of the most emotional events in my life.
You see, I believe my cousin saved my life. In 1967, I was about to be drafted into the Army, and I knew that my cousin only lasted two months and 17 days in Vietnam before he was shot and killed. So, I thought if I enlisted in the Air Force before the Army drafted me and I became a single-seat jet aircraft mechanic and crew chief, they would park that 3 million dollar aircraft in a safe place. Then when my pilot would be out flying a mission, I would still be in that safe place. That really is just the way it worked out for me during the year-and-a-half that I was over there.
Now I’ve said all of this because of a sermon that Andy preached several weeks ago. If you will recall, he was talking about how serious it was when we are having communion with our Lord and what we are to be thinking about as we’re taking communion.
During that sermon, the thought crossed my mind how emotional I had been at the Vietnam Memorial Wall thinking about how my cousin had possibly saved my life. Then I thought about the lesser amount of emotion I have had taking communion and knowing that Jesus saved my soul. I personally felt ashamed that I had displayed more emotion for my cousin than for my Savior. Possibly, this is something that we all should give more thought to. – Don Martin