A month or so ago, my husband and I had dinner with a childhood friend and his wife. Gary's a military chaplain and his wife an ordained minister.
We spent a few hours catching up -- we hadn't seen each other since our teens! -- and then Gary wanted to tell us a story. It was about a care package we'd sent him while he was deployed to Afghanistan a few years ago. Because it was nearing Christmas, I'd put in a small plastic Christmas tree and bags of candy. I also packed in some brownie mixes. Gary wanted to tell us what happened to the brownie mixes.
Not having the ingredients or means for making the brownies himself, he approached the kitchen staff on the base, who said they’d see what they could do. Meanwhile, Gary began preparing a Christmas Eve service.
Normally, Gary said, only two or three soldiers came to his Sunday services. Even so, he expected a few more for Christmas Eve. He was thrilled to receive another package in the mail, one from his wife that contained small gifts to distribute at the party. He also got word that the brownies could be made up for a party following the service.
Preparing to start the service, Gary glanced around the chapel and was astonished to find the seats filling up. He counted 30 personnel in attendance, including himself. After the service, the group gathered to enjoy the treats and gifts laid out for them. On the table were 30 gifts and 30 brownies. Exactly enough gifts and exactly enough brownies to go around. Imagine that!
After finishing the story, Gary said in passing, "We chaplains have hundreds of these stories!" Immediately, I thought, "What a great book idea!"
So, that's what I'm working on now. A book of stories told by military chaplains. If you are -- or if you know -- a military chaplain, I'd like to hear your story. I'm looking for stories that show God's grace to the military in everyday ways, or in ways that are experienced as miracles.
To tell me your story, contact me through the e-mail address to the right of this blog. I'd be happy to contact you by phone or e-mail to talk about your story. I've already heard some wonderfully inspiring stories and look forward to more. Thanks, Gary and Rosalind, for the idea!