By Chaplain Bryan Thompson
I was reminded of something I had read
years ago, when I was in high school. It was a book my father, a
Michigan State Police Sergeant, owned. He enjoyed reading about the
civil war and had purchased a book called, , by
Michael Shaara. It was about the Battle at Gettysburg.
One character highlighted in the novel
was a Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, whose regiment, the 20th
Maine Infantry, was charged by his superiors to defend the end of the
Union line. He is famous for a decision he made, when out of
ammunition, to lead a bayonet charge down the side of the Little
Round Top on the second day of battle that ended up winning the day
and holding the line.
At one point, the author of the book
tried to reveal the thinking of Col. Chamberlain at a critical point
in the battle. His brother who fought with him, was near his side. He
had always tried to keep his brother safe, something he couldn’t
help having on his mind. Suddenly, during the battle, a gap appeared
in the line and needed to be filled. He grabbed his brother who was
always nearby him and pushed him to fill the gap. The emotions he
expressed, the conflict of meeting a desperate need, with the life of
his brother no less, created something significant and deep down
inside me that lasts to this day.
We as a community are asking a great
deal out of the you to stand up against something we have never faced
before. And like the Colonel who was charged to defend the end of the
line, this duty sounds very similar to me. I am proud of those of you
who are standing in the gap to serve during this time. I am also in
prayer for you, asking God to help you. We have asked you to stand in
a gap that needs filling and you are dutifully meeting the need.
I am proud of you for bravely serving.
You are the kind of people I admire. When courage to meet the need is
illustrated in books, films, and other literature, courage is the
thing I always seem to notice. Courage causes me to pause, consider
and try to find a way to incorporate it with the hope of making me a
better person. Someone who is more ready to complete my part in the
duty or task.
It is why I am a follower of Jesus. He
didn’t shrink away from the great task that was before him. A
sizeable portion of people in the world continue to remember what he
did, they celebrate his achievement annually, they remember what he
did to bring spiritual peace.
As an admirer of
those who stand in the “gap”, I commit my prayers to you with the
hope that you will be the courageous ones to fill the gap of need
that is represented today.
I am a chaplain. I support you. Call if
you want prayer, conversation or there is a need I can help you with
or to meet.
Blessings and in support of the line,
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