image The irony of "Amazing Love" sung during worship at my church yesterday did not escape me. It's a song I learned from Jason Hovater, a worship leader from my former church who was killed this last year serving in the United States Army in Afghanistan. I could hardly join in the melody due to the lump forming in my throat. Memorial Day weekend became instantly more meaningful to me in that moment.
I had already been made painfully aware of the coming holiday on Thursday evening. I assisted the little guys for swim team when Coach Rob alerted me to be watchful of an Iraq veteran would had need of a special chair to enter the pool which sat near our practice lanes. I expected to see a hobbling yet proud man slowly limping toward us. Instead, my breath was taken away when I realized the boy, maybe 18 or 19, being pushed in a wheelchair represented an injured war vet! His limbs were drawn in, purple from lack of use, and hanging like stretched dough. I was in the water with the brand spanking new wiggly swimmers, or I'd have gotten out to look him in the eye and thank him for his service to our country. I'm resolved if I see him there again to find someone to watch the kids if I'm helping so I might do so.
The words to "Amazing Love" struck me in a particular way this Memorial Day. "Amazing love, how can it be? That you my king should die for me. Amazing love. I know it's true, and it's my joy to honor you." Sunday, I also inserted "friend" next to King Jesus for these vets wounded and killed. It's amazing love that soldiers position themselves on the front lines to die for me, our country, each day. I remember and honor you.