Friday, June 05, 2009

Thankful Thursday (a day late)

What moved me this week?

This last week we visited our son and his wife in Washington D.C. It was the first time I'd been there and it took my breath away. On Monday we spent the morning at Arlington Cemetery. I imagine a visit to the cemetery at Arlington means different things to different people. For some, walking among the gravestones might be a time to glimpse fragments of our nation's history; for many, it's a time to pay homage and honor to many of our nation's military heroes; and for others it takes on a much more personal note as they visit the grave site or attend the funeral of a loved one. As I walked around that beautiful cemetery and looked out upon row after row of headstones, I was moved. I knew I was walking on sacred, hallowed ground. At that moment my gratitude for those individuals (and their families) that have served and are serving in our military encompassed me.

What surprised me this week?
So many things surprised me this week, but one in particular has stuck in my mind. The night we flew home from D.C. a thunder storm rolled into the city. We were all buckled up, and the plane had taxied out of the gate when the heavens opened and it began to pour. Big, round drops of rain became a deluge with thunder rumbling in the background and lightening dancing all around us. We were grounded -- as were all the flights ready to leave at that time. The runways and taxi strips were littered with planes waiting out the storm.

A mother and her 15 month old daughter were situated in the middle seat across the isle from us. The flight was packed, so the mother and her little one were hemmed in by two strangers -- a young man on one side and a older woman on the other. It looked to be a long night for that baby and those surrounding her. ;o) Almost immediately, the young man came to the rescue. For the two hours we were waiting on the tarmac and the four hours we were in flight, I watched as that young man help with the needs of that baby girl. He held, entertained, and soothed her for hours. The kindness of others is such a welcome surprise.

What inspired me this week?
So many things inspired me this week. One cannot go to our nation's capitol and walk away without being humbled and inspired, however, one thing in particular caught my attention over and over again. From our nation's earliest beginnings and throughout the first 150 years of its history there was constant and repeated reference to Deity by our nation's leaders. God was not only a part of their individual lives, but He was acknowledged repeatedly as the source of strength and inspiration for our developing and fledgling nation.

On the last day of our trip, I stood in the Lincoln Memorial and read the four paragraphs that comprised Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address. Those words are carved into the marble of that beautiful structure. I was struck by Lincoln's humility and his constant reference to "God." I am inspired by great men and women, both past and present, who seek to follow God's will and openly pay tribute to His hand in our lives.


Anonymous said...

My DH is retired now for three years from military. One of his friends was laid to rest at Arlington last month...still sad and fresh on our minds.

Mia said...

Beautiful post Suzanne. I always love reading your thoughts.

Devri said...

Oh I loved this.. I might have to steal your idea next week!

Renee said...

I love this. I might have to steal this idea from you too!

Kristine said...

Wow what a great list this week! Really. I enjoyed reading your thoughts. I would love to travel to DC someday and see such historic sights as the Arlington Cemetery & the Lincoln Memorial! And what a super amazing story about your plane ride home! I bet that mom was soooo grateful!

Unknown said...

i have not been to DC since i was young a Jr. in high school. i so want to go back.

i love your thankful thursday posts. they are always wonderful!

but your blog is always wonderful.
it is the reason i always return to read our posts!

Tolentreasures said...

Wonderful thoughts and so well voiced! I love to go to Washington D.C. I could wander the Smithsonian for hours. Arlington always "quiets" me. Glad that you had a good trip, makes me wonder why I don't visit more often, it is only a four hour drive!


Pudgeduck said...

II Chronicles 7-14

C-ingspots said...

Amen!! And when our fellow countrymen and women succeed in removing God from our country and from our lives - we will be doomed. We have been a blessed and powerful nation because of God. On our own, we are nothing.