Tuesday, February 13, 2007
"I'd Like You to Take My Seat"
Never suppress a generous thought. That's what my friend taught me. I thank all those generous Americans who have been so generous to the men and women of the United States military. It helps us to remember what we're fighting for--goodness.
A friend recently told me a story about an acquaintance of hers that was flying home from a trip someplace. Because of a unique circumstance, she was upgraded to first class, and she was very excited about it. But as she was waiting to board, she noticed a lone female soldier waiting to board as well. A strong impression occurred to the lady: "Give her your seat."
She was, however, a bit shy in offering, and was excited to experience first-class flying for the first time. But again the impression came.
The lady then asked a nearby steward to help her find the young soldier on the plane. Soon the lady and the young soldier had exchanged seats. A few minutes into the flight, the soldier came back to where the lady was now sitting in her former seat. She said simply, "Thank you, ma'am. You'll never know how much this meant to me." She handed the lady a note and walked back to her seat.
The lady opened the note, which contained a small metal cross, one which were inscribed the words "God loves you." The note said: "You couldn't possibly have known how much your giving up your seat to me has elevated my spirits. You see, I'm returning home from Iraq for a fews days to attend my mother's funeral, and then I have to return. My mother was killed in a car accident. I began to think that I hated God, because he had abandoned me in my greatest time of need. But your actions have been as those of a guardian angel, and now I love God because you have helped me to remember that He still does love me."
As my friend closed her story, she finished her speech by reminding us, "Never suppress a generous thought."
It made a strong impression on me when I was returning to Iraq from my 15 day leave a year ago that the airlines gave me an upgrade to first class. I do not know if someone gave up their seat for me that day, but if you did, I salute you.
Serving in the Iraqi 'tornado' is without doubt the most difficult thing that most of us have done in our lives. Sometimes we make bad choices, and the Iraqi people have suffered for it. But with your generosity, hopefully we are more apt to realize that because the folks back home care about us, we will strive to serve with more dignity to help the people of Iraq enjoy the blessings that Americans take for granted.