Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cul-de-sac Hero

Once again, it has been too long since I have posted. If you correctly guessed that I am blogging to procrastinate, you know me all too well. I am currently taking a study break to get away from accounting and cost methods right now, so Mom please don't be reading this! Anyways, this week I have a true inspiration for my post. Yet, I see him differently than the rest of the world. To me, it's the six-year-old little boy that lived next-door that I played with for hours upon hours when I first moved into my new home in Brandon. I can still see the day he found a mischievous lizard in one of our yards, but then then the lizard conveniently found Kyle's ear and latched on to it despite my complete and utter six-year-old dismay. I can still picture the talking parrot he had in his room that echoed us whenever we spoke to it (which was a lot). I can still remember the sweet smile that permeated his entire face. He was one of my first childhood friends. Yet, a year or two later, Kyle and his family moved, and time marched on. Kyle and I would grow up in two different states. I would never meet his junior high friends. I would never know what sports he played or what he thought of his high school prom. He would always be remembered as my childhood friend.

Yet, to the rest of the world, and to my new perspective, Kyle is a hero. I remember in November on a weekend I was home, my mom told me that Kyle had been injured in Afghanistan. I was shocked. This was my six-year-old friend whose biggest worry was the mischievous lizard and trying to convince our parents to let us watch Jungle Book one more time- not an injured Marine who courageously and selflessly protected others even when pain and harm were the aftermath. After this, I found the group on Facebook that tracked his journey and progress, and I checked it on a regular basis to see how he was doing. I was amazed by the faith and compassion of his family, his friends, and all of those who my sweet childhood friend had impacted in his life since the days of Jungle Book and talking parrots. His story is beyond the realm of inspiration. It's love and hope in it's truest form. I have been blessed by his story already, but here is a glimpse of his homecoming and the heart behind him and his family.

I was so moved by this video, but the kicker for me was the ending. Despite his circumstances, Kyle said he would do it all over again for the people he loved. I couldn't help but think of John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." I couldn't help but think that Kyle had beautifully demonstrated the attitude of Christ. For despite His circumstances, Christ looked at us, loved us unconditonally and said, I would do it all again. He laid down his life for his friends. Yet, what does this look like for you and for me and our daily lives? I think this calls us to selflessly serve and to live for others and not ourselves. I think it calls for love and love at its most pure and unconditional form. I think it calls for our lives to be a daily sacrifice for others where we lay aside pride, our selfish desires, our worries, our "five-year-plans," our wishes, our time frames, and lose ourselves in the service of others.

Therefore, to my sweet childhood friend, thank you for your servant heart and for serving our country. Thank you for such an inspirational story and a steadfast example of faith. Thank you for your love for our country and your even bigger love for its people. Ultimately, thank you for laying down part of your life for your friends.