Sometimes people think that IF they are not doing something for a large group what they are doing is insignificant...I say that is not so! Not to pat our our own backs, but to let you know that what we do one on one is often of the greatest value. In our years in ministry it has been these times when we KNOW we have helped someone in their darkest moments that keeps us motivated. Talking to someone who has been contemplating suicide but then walks away encouraged is more important than speaking to a crowded room in "general" terms. Yes, Eddie does enjoy speaking in churches and to veteran and civic groups with his message of hope and encouragement...but sometimes we need to be there one on one; or as in our case most of the time...two on two....to listen, to encourage and to offer suggestions for hope and help.
Just this past week we had one of those opportunities. We met for lunch with a couple who wanted and needed help and comfort for their veteran son. I will not go into particulars...such things told in confidence need to be kept there. Their son is now dying and they needed to know some things AND most of all that someone cared. We plan on visiting with him when the parents set that up and "just being there". Sometimes that is all one can do AND sometimes that is the best and biggest thing we can do. I recall on one VA hospital visit that Eddie was asked to come into a veterans room. The man was dying...soon. He couldn't speak but as Eddie spoke to him and held his hand his eyes filled with tears. Just knowing someone cared enough to take time out of their day to sit with him for a while meant so much to him and also to his family.
Each one of us can do these small but BIG things IF we will listen to where God leads us if we want to help and be there for others. And since we have been unable to do a lot of traveling these past few years this is where we concentrate our efforts for now. We hope that we will soon have the necessary financing to be back on the road to our military hospitals...if not we will continue to what we can closer to home. And remember to keep a smile on your face as that small gesture will brighten the day for those you come in contact with!