Lenten Devotional-Day 11

Saturday, February 28

Isaiah 42:1 Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nation.

The Chosen Servant

Growing up in rural Shenandoah Valley, visiting the big “city” of Arlington, VA was a big deal.  I would head to the city to visit my two cousins, Vicki and Glenna, and my very favorite Aunt Dot. It was always a special part of my summer and Easter break. I loved the city, but mostly enjoyed the love of extended family, being doted on by my cousins and the Aunt I dearly loved. Even after college and marriage, we remained close. The family bond never weakened.

My Aunt Dot, who I thought was the most God-fearing, smartest, strong-willed (she was a single mom) patriotic woman in the world, worked for the CIA in Washington. I had created in my mind an image of this woman having a double life as an international spy or secret agent.  During the Vietnam War, she called to tell me she was going to work for the American Embassy in Saigon. My heart overflowed with pride and respect.

After being in Saigon for two years, she decided to stay for another year. She had met an Army officer, fallen in love, and was to be married. As fate would have it, during the evacuation of Saigon, my Aunt chose to accompany a flight bringing Vietnamese orphans home to the States.  On a beautiful spring day in April 1975, the “Operation Babylift” plane crashed within minutes after take-off. My Aunt, along with the crew and orphans, was killed. After her funeral, I lost contact with my cousins. Our family bond split.

In the Bible, the number forty is significant – forty days of Lent, forty days of rain, and forty days in the wilderness. So, it seems appropriate that forty years after seeing my cousins for the last time, we were able to reconnect last year. What a joyous occasion. My story is partly one of sadness and joy, both feelings that are from deep places within all our hearts. But also within our hearts is remembering that after the agony of the crucifixion came the joy at the sight of an empty tomb. During this season of Lent, may we be reminded of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ gave for each of us. Love is stronger than death.  Hallelujah, Christ Arose.

Deb Reynolds  

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you and praise you for sending your only son into the world. Remind us that the darkness of the grave will soon be overcome by the brightness of the third day. Amen