Most 5am telephone calls that wake you out of a dead sleep are terrorizing. We all have experienced those calls.
This morning's 5 am call from Sam was prefaced with restlessness. I was really half awake wondering what was going on. Why couldn't I sleep.
That call, that glorious ring that cut through my fog and in an instant I was wide awake.
"Hi Dad", the quite, manly voice on the other side of the world said. "Are the girls still in Buffalo?" he asked.
Sam was in the middle of a day long mission in Hilla the capital of the Babel province. For some unexplained reason his mission brought him to the Embassy and they discovered that the phones in the lobby were free to use. He explained that it was so nice to dismount, remove his armor and leave it in his truck. To be in a building with "other" contractors, even women in western cloths.
He was quite, but then he disclosed that a LT friend of his had been injured the other day by an IED. Seriously injured by an IED that was placed just after his platoon's sweep the road. Just 90 minutes later and his friend was injured.
Un-Godly hot was his description in an email sent Friday...
"It's out of control hot over here right now, like around 135 each day. Today was pretty bad, but yesterday was really bad, its funny how you can feel the difference between 115, 125, and 135, because there is a difference. Its hard to believe that I will ever be this hot again in my life. Even drinking water after a while just isn't enough, the human body just isn't designed for this kind of heat. I had a mission scheduled for this morning, it was a 4km dismounted clearance movement, but it ended up being canceled, unfortunately I didn't know until after getting up with all my guys around 3am and checking in with the TOC. But it's been a complete day of errands and admin, plus mission prep for upcoming ops. Not to worry, I have another mission bright and early tomorrow morning...."
Tomorrow morning. Saturday, 1 pm his time in Hilla. He was calling from near the ruins of Babel. I asked," how do you tell the difference between ruins, modern and old?" He said Hilla was relatively free of sectarian violence was quite beautiful. "They just look older, " he said "and I drove right by them during this mission."
Imagine that. As I sit here at my computer, writing my prayers for 9:45 am service tomorrow, Sam is half a world away near the ruins of Ancient Babylon. Fighting for our way of life. Upholding the rights of these ancient people to change from a dictatorship to self government. Our proud and gracious Son is a small part of a much bigger picture.
"I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in ernest, you will find me when you seek me."
Jeremiah 29: 11-13