Plans can change when someone needs our help...

12/05/2011  |  By 2nd Lt. Leon Buchanan (Chaplain Canddiate), 108th Training Command (IET)
Chaplains Corner...

First, I would like to thank everyone for making me feel so welcomed. You all have made me feel right at home.

A couple of months ago, I was relaxing at my home in Fayetteville, N.C., when I received a call from a woman in the congregation. In a frantic voice she informed me there was an intoxicated man banging on her door and he would not leave. I told her to call the police and I would be there soon.

As I drove over there, a million different scenarios ran through my mind, and I prayed for her safety during the drive. When I arrived at her apartment complex I saw a man leaning against the door of the apartment that was across from hers. I said hello and introduced myself to the man. He told me his name and it was obvious that he had been drinking. I asked him if he was the one that has been banging on the door of the lady that called me. He told me that all he wanted to do was make peace with her before he left.

I asked, “Where are you going?”

He told me that he was going to be deployed the following week to Afghanistan and it will be his third deployment.

I told him that I am a Chaplain Candidate and if he wanted to talk, I was there.

He told me that on his last deployment, some Soldiers lost their lives, and we talked for about an hour and I prayed for him.

As I looked back, I am amazed how God has used me to help this Soldier even though that wasn’t the original mission. I went to the apartment to help a congregation member but ended up talking and praying for this Solider.

Looking back on my encounter with the Solider, I am reminded of a narrative about Jesus.  In Mark 5:21-43, a synagogue leader named Jarius asked Jesus to heal his daughter.  As Jesus was traveling to Jarius’ house, a woman, who suffered from bleeding, heard about his arrival, and she went to see him. Jesus healed her.

You see, Jesus was on his way to one destination; when an opportunity arose, Jesus changed his plans. Jesus took a moment with this woman from the crowd and then continued his journey.

There is a lesson to be learned from this story. As we go about our business, we have to be aware that our plans may need to change when someone needs our help.

On battle assembly weekends, we are expected to do a month of work in a few days. When we arrive on Saturday, we have to hit the ground running. We have to make sure that all these work get done before we leave on Sunday. We have a lot to do and not enough time to do it.

I would like to offer some advice to everyone. As you go through your day, don’t get so engrossed with your work that you don’t notice someone who needs some help. For some of us, we only get to meet our Soldiers one weekend each month. Use the time wisely and be ready to support each other. 

The Bible tells us, in 2 Tim 4:2, to be ready in season and out of season. Be ready when you expect it and when you don’t. If we are only thinking about what we need to get done, we might not see the opportunity that God is giving us. Taking small moments with people can make big differences.

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