So, yesterday, I was conducting some business at the United States Consulate in Frankfurt. As I was on duty, I wore my Army Combat Uniform. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn't wear the uniform when I go into the city like that. I don't want to draw sniper fire. OK, this isn't Baghdad. But it still seems out of place. After being checked through security we were ushered upstairs to the appropriate waiting room to conduct our business. There were already numerous other people of varying nationalities and languages waiting to do business with the US Government, including a mom with three young boys. They seemed to be Americans but spoke German pretty fluently. At one point, as I walked by the table where the boys were coloring, a piece of paper fell to the floor. I picked it up and handed it to one of the boys, saying "here you go, young man". He just stared at me, seemingly in awe. Really, he was staring at my unusual attire, the modern combat patterned uniform that represents the might of the US Army. I soon sat back down in my chair, but noticed the boys continued to chatter and glance over at me. Finally the mom grabbed one of the boys by the hand and walked over to me. She said her son, who was about five, wanted to ask me a question. His little brothers, quick to follow, peered around Mom's legs. He asked me, in German accented English, "do you have a helmet?'. Yes, of course I have a helmet I told him. "Do you have a sword?" he then queried me. Well, yes, I guess I do, I replied. "Will you fight a dragon?" he slowly mouthed. I smiled and asked him if he wanted to fight a dragon. He simply responded that he wanted to be a Knight, too. And, that he would fight dragons.
Man, I was floored by that encounter. For such a long time I have felt emasculated and defeated, because of some of the poor choices I made in my past. I know that my Savior has taken that past from me. He has defeated my dragons. But, I also know there are many more dragons to slay. I am getting back on my feet. I am back in training. There still exists, however, this foreboding of great failure in so many regards. Uniquely, the inquisitiveness and awe expressed from the innocence of that tender young warrior child have inspired me to continue my mission. To never quit or accept defeat. I'm grateful for the friends who have picked me up, faithful to the ethos of never leaving a fallen comrade. I'm thankful for my Lord for inspiring me to press on toward the goal, through the faith of a child.
Can we boast we have done anything to be accepted? No, our acquittal is not based on deeds, but faith!