We often go for walks on beautiful evenings like tonight. We tie our shoes, grab some plastic bags and the dogs and hit the sidewalks of our neighborhood, talking about our days and enjoying the quiet sunset.
And so, after dinner was done and the dishes washed, we readied ourselves for our customary stroll. As we reached the half-way point of our journey, we passed a couple who were working hard to tie a yellow ribbon around the large oak in the center of their front yard.
I asked Anita if I could take a little detour from our walk. As I crossed the street and came closer, I could tell that the couple was struggling to make the large yellow ribbon look just right. I called out to them, “Who’s coming home?”
“Our son.” said the man over his shoulder. His wife continued her work without looking back.
“What branch of the service is he in?”
“Army. He’s in Afghanistan and he’s planning on coming home to visit in July.” At this, the woman turned and looked at me. The concern of many worried nights was written all over her face.
“What is his name? I’d like to pray for him, if that’s all right.”
“His name is Matt.” the father replied with humility.
“Great,” I said. “I’ll remember to pray for him every time I see this ribbon when I drive through the neighborhood. Have a great day.”
“Thank you.” his mother replied.
What they don’t know is that I rarely pass their house. It’s a little out of my way. But as I walked away from their home, their worried faces and that yellow ribbon, I made a vow to drive that direction every day…at least until July when Matt is home safe and the ribbon has served its purpose.
God bless our troops, God bless Matt, and God Bless America.