My family stayed up late as a tribe to cheer on our friend, Karen Vaughn, as she COMPLETELY rocked her speech at the Republican National Convention last night. We cheered and cried while she spoke– thinking of the cost her family, and so many other American Gold Star families have borne so that we may stand in freedom.
But that cost, that price, the blood of America’s sons and daughters is not enough alone to guarantee our current stability or our future safety. The very real truth is that the world we live in is increasing in acts of terror and violence to where our daily news cycles are now filled with nothing but constant alerts.
[bctt tweet=”Here’s my prayer: God give us soft hearts and strong backs.” username=”lyettereback”]
Soft hearts– because the natural protective inclination of all of us is to simply harden our hearts to the constant news, serial threats, and unbelievable acts perpetrated on a day by day basis. We need our hearts to stay soft so that we can hear the realities, and let the Lord guide and direct our steps of action. We need our hearts to stay soft so that love can flow through them to a lost and hurting world and culture. We need our hearts to stay soft so that we can teach empathy, kindness and love to those left reeling in the aftermath of life’s incredible struggles and now the heartbreak at every turn.
But we need strong backs. We need the kind of inner strength and fortitude that can take a whippin’ and keep on tickin’. We need the strength in our bones that comes from knowing Whose we are and Who is sovereign. We need a strong back to handle the workload, the overwhelming task at hand, the fight that looms larger every day.
The other speech of the night that really grabbed my heart was that of Marcus Luttrell. The Lone Survivor who was the only returning operator when 3 of his 4 man Seal team were killed and subsequently 8 more men who were sent to retrieve him.
Marcus had these things to say:
“Each and every life under the flag should be family…and treated accordingly…”
Family doesn’t always agree. There is a degree of dysfunction in every family. Family has the straight laced father, the liberal mom, the way out sister, the goody-too-shoes brother, the crazy uncle and the hard-liner grandpa. But family still comes together, loving one another despite their differences. Family is still family. And if you are an American, then we are family.
“The only way to survive this is together not apart…”
We have so many voices seeking to divide us, but we must remain united. We may all vehemently disagree on a plethora of issues, but we can all solidly agree on a love of country and even if we believe that completely different things are best for our nation, we still have to love one another. Just like that overbearing in-law or the nutty uncle, we may not agree with them over every political issue at Thanksgiving, but we still share the meal, the same last name, and a common bond that goes beyond our latest sound byte belief.
“In order for any life to matter, all lives have to matter…”
Every life. Bar none. No favorites. No excuses. No inciting rage or throwing around rhetoric meant to inflame or cause vengeance. There is no place for anarchy and disregarding rule of law. There is place for civil discourse but it must not end with lives interrupted and taken. Every life is too precious to incite danger on the lives of those protecting and serving. That is a way to push the old narrative forward. And if we need a new conversation then we need to do it by building a bridge of communication, not by killing the husbands and fathers of so many families.
Marcus left the stage with a burning question…
“Who Among you?
I was allowed to walk with giants…and now we are looking for the next generation of giants…Who among you will love something more than yourself?
Who among you are going to step up and take the fight to the enemy? Because it’s Here…”
As parents, we are responsible for raising the next generation of freedom defenders. Of freedom advancers. Of freedom lovers and givers. We have a duty in response to the unbelievable outpouring of blood on our behalf…and as parents that response is to spend our efforts raising the next generation to love America, put others first, to serve this nation and to take every freedom and opportunity America gives knowing it came at the cost of a flag draped coffin.
So, #WhoAmongYou? Watch this short video and let me know what you think below. I want to know if this clip struck a chord with you or not…