The title is not my own but wouldn't God just love it if we are reminded of His kisses and His smacks in everything. This story is not mine but the lady that wrote it is a friend of mine. The unit she is talking about was the unit my husband was in - and yes he knew those that died. If you don't want to cry don't read any further but if you want to hear something truly God-size amazing then read on. I'll never forget this story and I'll always rememer our fallen heros, especially those close to home. But more importantly I'll see God kisses and God smacks in my life. This just goes to show that God cares about us even in the little things. He wants us to know that He is with us even when we are pounding the pavement, or when we are doing dishes, or when we are reading to our kids - every day things but HE IS THERE and HE CARES. I hope it changes you too.
God Kiss – God SmackJ
On June 28, 2005 my husband’s unit suffered a great tragedy in the hills of
Afghanistan. We lost a Chinook helicopter that was carrying 8 of our men and 8 NAVY SEALS to enemy fire. To this day we are still dealing with our emotions and grief and we do lots of activities to lift up both the memory of those fallen soldiers and the honor of the their families. This particular unit is extremely close knit, so you can imagine how difficult this past year has been.
I tell you all this to set the stage for what happened this past weekend to a group of us.
You see, we try to have different functions dedicated to our Fallen throughout the year. Last year we ran the Enmark Bridge Run in memory of Flight 146 (the tail number of the downed helicopter. Remember it, you will see it again.) There’s also collaboration between the Navy SEALs and our unit to do a Bike Run (Harley’s and others) near the anniversary of the tragedy.
This past weekend (October 8th) a group of about 15 of us decided to run in the Army Ten Miler in Washington, D.C., to honor the families of these fallen (also called Gold Star Families). Included in our group were two of the Gold Star Wives, Lori Goodnature and Leslie Ponder. Now, we all came from various parts of the country: Some from Kentucky/Tennessee and some from here and still more from the D. C. area. Five of us were cheerleaders, with signs and shouts of encouragement as we trudged along the route. I don’t have to tell you that running ten miles isn’t an easy task. We’ve all been training for at least 4 months for this but we still needed all the help we could get.
I don’t know if you have ever participated in a timed run or not, but just in case, I need to explain how the timing works. We are each given a microchip to put on our shoes. Our official time starts when we cross the “Start Line” threshold, which contains infrared beams to activate the clock. Likewise, our time stops when we cross the “Finish Line” threshold. This allows the time to be accurately calculated, no matter how many people are running. There were 24,011 people running in this race. Our group was scattered throughout the masses. Meaning, only a few of us actually saw one another when we ran.
After the race, we all went to our perspective lodging places to change and met up again to tour
Cemetery. That was, of course, very emotional. We then proceeded to dinner at a nearby restaurant. We were all anxiously awaiting our official race times, which would not be available until 7:00pm. So, as we sat around the table, Leslie got a phone call from a friend, who wanted to tell her her official time. She got hers and then asked about Lori. Lori’s time was 1 hour 46 minutes, (1:46), notice the number matches the tail number of her late husband’s helicopter. That is what Lori refers to as a “God Kiss”. Those little things in our lives that let us know that God is with us all the time no matter what. And it’s an affirmation to what we were doing.
Here’s where it becomes a “God Smack”. Lori wasn’t the only one who had the time of 1:46. There was not one, not two or three, but SIX of us in our group with the same exact time of 1:46! You can imagine that our dinner atmosphere was really emotional too. We just sat in awe as we contemplated what we had just heard.
You know, God answers our prayers. The four of us that rode together talked about God, we prayed before the race. We asked for blessing before each meal, even in public. We just put God first. I think that God wanted us to know that what we were doing was good and right and honorable. And I daily thank Him for that. He is an amazing God and I am so glad to be a child of His.