I woke up bleary eyed Saturday but I needed to start earlier than usual to make my appointment. Before I put on my glasses, I checked the text on my phone. It was my cousin's wife sending me a picture of their son. He stood in military uniform, beaming alongside his army buddy. The scene was Camp Fuji, Japan. The two men smiled through tall grasses with the majestic, snow-capped mountain in the background. After training, they're headed to South Korea.
My cousin and his wife worry about their son daily. My best friend's son is in the U.S. Army Special Forces and another friend of ours has a son in army intelligence, deployed overseas. Those parents are living with one eye and ear on their phones and hoping no uniformed visitors come knocking at the doors.
Other mothers and fathers are praying tonight for sons and daughters confronting trouble at every turn. Lord, help them find a way to stand up to the pressure. Pass up the offers to make that easy money, selling drugs. Give them the courage to put down the handgun, or refuse to pick it up. Turn down that ride with the gang bent of revenge.
Whether your child is a role model or at-risk of becoming a statistic, parents worry ... and pray for grace and the gentle, swift nudge of their guardian angels.