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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sack Lunches

I do not know where this story originated.  I got it from my MIL.  Even if perhaps it is ONLY a story, it has a powerful message.  And even if you have read it before, read it again.  Then read my comments at the end.

"I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat.  It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to read.  Perhaps I will get a short nap' I thought.  Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me.  I decided to start a conversation.  'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.  'Petawawa.  We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Afghanistan.'

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars.  It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time.  As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch.  'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch.  Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks.  I'll wait till we get to base.'  His friend agreed.  I looked around at the other soldiers.  None were buying lunch.  I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill.  'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.'  She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly.  Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me.  'My son was a soldier in Iraq; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'  Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated.  She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you like best - beef or chicken?'  'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked.  She turned and went to the front of the plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class.  'This is your thanks.'

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room.  A man stopped me.  'I saw what you did.  I want to be part of it.  Here, take this.'  He handed me twenty-five dollars.  Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane.  When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand and said, 'I want to shake your hand.'  Quickly unfastening my seat belt I stood and took the Captain's hand.  With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot.  Once, someone bought me a lunch.  It was an act of kindness I never forgot.'  I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs.  A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine.  He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.  When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane.  Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word.  Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base.  I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars.  'It will take you some time to reach the base.  It will be about time for a sandwich.  God Bless You.'  Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers.  As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return.  These soldiers were giving their all for our country.  I could only give them a couple of meals.  It seemed so little.

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'  That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.'"

My Comments:
I'm reminded of a Savior who, at one point in his life, wrote a check made payable to the Heavenly Father for the amount to cover every one of my sins, past, present and future.  It was signed with His life's blood and stamped "Paid in Full" by the Heavenly Father!  And, not only my sins, but all the sins of every believer, past, present and future!  He gave His all for us knowing we have nothing to offer Him in return.  All He wants is our love and obedience.

Don't dishonor Him by trying to work your way into His heaven!  It is by His grace that you are saved, through faith, which is also a gift of God.  Faith is not found in yourself through working for it by being a good person.  Otherwise, you would be able to boast and take credit for it being your salvation, not God's!  (Ephesians 2:8, 9)  And, if you could get to heaven on your own merits, why would Jesus have to sacrifice His life?  If you are not placing your full confidence in His sacrifice on the cross for YOUR sins, you will not have an eternal home in heaven.

Fewer and fewer people are being taught the truth of repentance and faith for salvation. There MUST be a realization of sin's condemnation and the need to repent (turn away from) all sin.  Romans 6:23 tells us "the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" and Romans 10:9, 10 tells us "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."


"Gram" said...

Great analogy, Vicky! So few realize what a battle the Savior fought and the prize He paid.