My 4th of July devotional,”I Am the American Dream” is posted at http://LibertyWorks.com
We attended a Baccalaureate ceremony today for my grandson, Tyler, who will graduate #1 in his class on Friday. Not only is he brilliant, but he is GOOD to the core. He loves his family and friends deeply and wants to do good for the world. My nickname for him is Ernest. A more sincere and genuine kid would be hard to find.
We had a time at the ceremony to pray as a family as this passage in Tyler’s life begins and childhood is left behind. I couldn’t help but thank God for the treasure I have in him, and in all my incredible children and grandchildren. God has been so true to His promises and has kept us under His protective wing.
My gratitude is too great for words and made me think also of the timing. It is Memorial Day weekend. We stand free to worship God and raise our children to love Him because 1% of Americans at any given time answer the call to protect liberty. In the process, many make the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives, often at ages not much older than Tyler.
How many mothers, sisters, brothers, wives, fathers and friends have said their earthly good byes far too early, just so we can take freedom and the rule of law for granted. I shed tears for Americas lost heroic sons and daughters today, while I thank God for mine.
I painted these Congressional Medal of Honor winners a few years ago. They were photographed as they prayed together for their fallen brothers in arms, at the opening of the World War II Memorial. I had never painted the faces of old men before, so it was a challenge. But as one by one I painted these dear men, I came to love each of them and see each line in their faces as lines of goodness recording the pathways of character and courage each one had trod in his life of honor. I call this painting “Heroes’Prayer”
I pray you will take a little time to study each face and find the gratitude and love I developed for them as I placed them on this canvas. They are representatives of a great generation of heroes. Have a Grateful Memorial Day! And if you served our country in the military…THANK YOU!