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A Christmas Message for Those Who Serve and Their Families

Nn

Serving In The Shadow of God

I watched you decorate the tree this year,
As I always have since our first Christmas together.
I loved seeing you string the lights around and around.
I adored the careful movement of your hands as you hung each ornament.

Most of all, I loved the glow on the faces of our children,
As they saw your creation come to life in our home.
They watched with me as you danced your way up and down the ladder.
I hope you know my hand was always there to keep you steady.

The children did not notice when you paused for a moment.
They did not see your tears falling on that old ornament we found together years ago.
Do not worry, my love. They did not see.
I was holding them. I was holding them.

Please forgive me for leaving you all so soon.
I tried holding on in those last few moments.
I tried so hard.
But, too much of me had been torn away.

As blood and life passed from me, my last thoughts were of you.
The greatest pain I felt was knowing how my violent end would hurt you.
Your heart was going to break and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
I could not bear to look at your face when they told you.

Did you see me behind the man who came to our door?
Did you feel me by your side when they handed you the flag?
Yes, I'm still here, my darling. Forever, I am with you.
You and our children will never be alone.

Nor am I alone, here above.
For there are countless others with me, my brothers and sisters in arms.
I am surrounded now, not by the dark enemy who tormented us in life,
But by a loving army of angels in uniform.

We gave our lives in service to you
And to people we never met.
From heaven, ours souls are forever devoted to you.
We carry the eternal honor of guarding your safety, your freedom, your liberty.

In life we stood guard to protect you, to hold back all that might bring you harm.
We walked the walls of the cities, the streets of the villages, the jungles, the deserts, the battlefields.
Day and night we patrolled on foot, on horseback, on the land, in the air and on the sea.
Now, we stand guard in eternity, serving in the shadow of God.

I watched you decorate the tree this year.
As I always will, until we are together again for Christmas.

Copyright 2015 - Raymond Bechard

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