By Lena Wood
It’s a kind of tradition: When folks meet a veteran wearing a cap with the words World War II, Korea, or Vietnam, they often say, “Thank you for your service, Sir.”
His response might be a quiet nod, a smile, or, “You’re welcome.”
Now, this is a true story, and let’s imagine it happened to you.
It’s Veteran’s Day and a small, older man comes to your place of business. Occasionally you greet veterans with the traditional thanks, but other employees are doing the same today, and you don’t want to sound redundant. However, this little man’s kind smile and his Vietnam vet cap reach into your heart. You say it: “Thank you for your service, Sir.”
You expect the usual nod as he passes. Instead he reaches out, pats you on the shoulder, and whispers, “You’re worth it.”
Worth it? You’ve never met him! Maybe you were a child in the 1960s and knew little of the war, or cared less. Or perhaps you protested. Perhaps you weren’t even born yet.
Worth it? One of every 10 active-duty soldiers in Vietnam was either killed or wounded. One in 10 came back with scars—or not at all. Did this soldier see his buddies die? Was he injured? Was he booed when he returned home? He obviously didn’t pay the supreme sacrifice, but he was willing to die for many who didn’t know or care.
Jesus went to his battlefield—that old rugged cross—knowing full well he wouldn’t survive. He expected the torture and agonzing hours on a cross, though he surely realized that billions across the centuries wouldn’t know or wouldn’t care. Two thousand years later he’s still mocked. But his death says, “I knew the cost, and you’re worth it. You’re worth all that.”
Are you really? Am I? Are any of us worth the life of God’s Son, slaughtered in the most vicious war of all time?
He thinks we are. Jesus himself said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son.” He was not a foot soldier, friends. The King of Heaven’s Armies died for you.
Every one of his followers will survive this cosmic war. We’ll all make it home safe and sound. May we ponder the words so often said to our veterans. Today, though, let’s speak them to our Savior: “Thank you for your service, Sir.”
Lena Wood is the author of the “Elijah Creek & the Armor of God” series. Volumes I and II are available at www.BraughlerBooks.com.