Five simple letters, yet one of the most captivating and powerful words in the English dictionary. Faith is not just a word. It isn’t just an action or a belief. Faith holds immense power. Faith saves lives.
I have always been a religious person. Part of me likes to think that I have faith every day, even when it comes to the little things like doing well on a test, acing that assignment, or getting that phone call that I received the internship I have worked my butt off to get. But when retired SMSgt Rex Temple came to speak to us this past Monday, I realized that my definition of faith didn’t compare in the least to what he had experienced. Faith took on a whole new meaning.
SMSgt Temple went through over an hour of slideshow pictures from his time in Afghanistan, telling us numerous anecdotes both positive and negative. I couldn’t believe the ways these military men and women had to live, what they had to eat, even the people they came into contact with. But what amazed me even more dealt with the faith demonstrated by the soldiers. Not one of the members of SMSgt Rex Temple’s team was killed. All of them returned safely to their families. Despite the countless hours of danger they were thrown in the midst of, these airmen can away unscathed.
Faith: That was their saving power. Before every mission Temple and his 14 member team would gather together and say a prayer asking God to be with them and protect them in their mission ahead. They had faith that they would make it out ok, and they did. These brave men were in the midst of terrible turmoil yet they found five minutes to say a prayer, to put their trust and faith in God to carry them through. And it worked. Faith saved.
What inspired me also was the fact that our wonderful US soldiers knew the ruin the Taliban incurred on the Afghanistan people, yet they tried to help. They sent them supplies and tried to make peace with them or get them to change their ways. Despite the horrible deeds the Taliban was doing to their own people, our troops had faith that what they were doing could make a difference.
I read an article in the Washington Post the other day entitled “Troops Feel More Pity Than Respect.” The media casts light on the troops as “hapless souls,” ones to pity rather than praise. The focus centers so much these days on those wounded or killed. “Poor them.” But why not focus on the positive? Why not focus on that fact that these military men and women are heroes? They are risking their lives for us. They have to demonstrate faith every day. They can’t see the whole staircase ahead of them, never know if they will live to see the next day, but they do what they do anyways, having faith that everything will work out and they will be ale to return to their families. Isn’t that what we should focus on?
Faith is an amazing thing. It can save lives. It can change attitudes. It can do something as simple as give someone hope and determination to see something through to the end. So the next time you feel as though there is nothing you can do, say a silent prayer and have faith that everything will work out.