The Unexpected Neighbor
Knock. Knock. There stood my neighbor, dressed in his starch white Naval uniform. He had just completed his duties at a military funeral and returned earlier than usual. He didn't have a key to his house, which actually isn't his house. He and his wife and children are staying with in-laws for the time being. They just had their fifth baby and are in a time of need. His wife had the key and wasn't home yet, so he kindly asked if he could sit down and wait until she returned home in a few minutes. Of course, of course. Do you want anything to drink? Have a seat, have a seat. We began to converse and learned more about our neighbor. We learned that he has worked 300 funerals in a short period of time, in order to earn extra money to support his family, each funeral an optional opportunity for a reservist. He shared his history in the Navy and the current economic pressures he feels as he waits to see if he will be granted an extension to finish out his career in the reserves. If he is not, he will be forced to find another job, another job he confesses which he knows will pay very little. He shared about his concerns for future generations and the moral decline which is so pervasive everywhere he looks. He courageously asks if we will pray for him that he would be granted the extension so that he can finish out his career in the military and will be able to retire. He knows that any other job, with his age and level of education, will not allow him to provide for his family - especially a family which just introduced another newborn into the world. I am struck by his humble plea for prayer. This aging father, who has served in multiple war zones came to us and asked boldly for prayer believing that God would hear our prayer. He offered his hands and we joined ours to his as we stood in our living room, praying. He exited our home to greet his wife. I know that it was a privilege to be able to pray for this man, to stand beside my brother in his time of need.