Joy and Sorrow

We are to weep with those who weep and also to laugh with those who laugh.

We had a beautiful last week spending an evening with some old C-130 friends and spending another evening with some new friends from our church home.  Hospitality is a sweet thing and we are so glad that it's an institution, though perhaps institution isn't the right word, put into place by the Lord.  On Thursday while dining with the C-130 folks at our home we learned some sad news.  The kind of news that shouldn't be received at a dinner party.  One of our friends, a Marine, was killed in action in Afghanistan a week ago.  He died a hero.  His name was James Matthew Weis.  Jake and I dined with he and his wife a few times while we lived in Pensacola, Florida several years ago.  They are believers in the faith and love the Lord Jesus.  They were trying to have children at that time and as the years went by and we fell out of touch they did indeed have two sons.  Little Justin and Ryan, ages 7 and 5, are without their Poppa now.  On July 22 James was called in on his helicopter along with another pilot to help some Marines.  These Marines on the ground were surrounded by the Taliban and needed help.  James and his co-pilot flew in and were hit by 4 missiles.  Their helicopter was downed and God called their lives away from them.  As another widow of this war his wife, Mae, will mother his children without him.

I don't know that James even made it to the front page of Fox or CNN.  Like so many other men who have given their lives, the news agencies are more fixated with where Obama is really from or how the oil in the gulf, "seems to be missing."

Jake, the children, and I drove down to San Diego Monday after lunch.  Jake took the three oldest children and went to the funeral.  The littles and I stayed back at the hotel.  Jake says the service was beautiful because of the marines who were there testifying of James' beautiful life.  He was an excellent husband, poppa, marine, but most importantly was known for his praying, his walk with Christ.  There is no doubt where James is now.  As his mother told the press, "I don't have to worry about him anymore." All worries of him are gone.  Mae and the children will miss him dearly and we will pray that God would fill the hole where James once was.  We know that God is father to the fatherless and a husband to the widows.  Thank you Lord for your sweet promises.  I know that Mae clings to them.  After the funeral Jake asked the kids how they were, of course they were sad, but Benjamin remarked, "I don't think I want to be a Marine."

Jake and I were reminded of the importance of keeping up with friends.  We have met so many beautiful people in our lives together.  There are some who have slipped through the cracks.  We will strive to pick up where those lines were dropped.  God was kind to let us know James.  Jake and James were friends before I ever met Jake.  They went to OCS together in 1995.  Jake and I met in winter of 1995.  It is sad that this man, only 37, is dead.  It seems like a life half lived.  The horrors of war ravage on and men and woman deploy from their family and reunite everyday.  For some the reuniting will have to wait.  I imagine that when, "we've been there 10,000 years bright shining as the sun," that the word wait will have had no effect on us, but for now, while we are encapsulated by time and while waiting is a very real thing we must keep our eyes focused on the prize.  Otherwise how would we, how could we go on?


cb said...

so much sadness, but then again I rejoice

Gaines Family said...

We have friends too that knew this family, we grieve for the loss of such an amazing life. Our prayers are with his family.

pops said...

Your comments are so wise.