Every three months, the chaplain’s office at the VA hospital in Fort Wayne has a memorial service for the vets who have died since the last service. Saturday was the day.
On the table in the middle of the picture, under the flag wreath, are about 14 candles, each with a label representing a life.
The youngest of these people was a Viet Nam era vet. The oldest, a cluster of WW2 marines and soldiers. Some had people at the service. Most did not.
I was there because I am married with the pianist and because I knew the founder of these service. He died recently. He was honored Saturday in the service he initiated.
The picture is a plain picture. The service was a simple service. The attendance was small.
But to the handful of family members, it mattered. To the people involved in the service, it mattered. We acknowledged lives that were lived for other people.
Most of us would love to have huge impact, transform millions of lives, save forests and oceans and babies and marriages and the world. We live, however, in 4×6 fluorescent-lit snapshots, oddly composed. And we think that those two sentences are fundamentally at odds.
It is, I think, snapshot lives that reflect the reality of world-transforming relationships far more than glamour shots. And ordinary people showing up for battle and guard duty and work and diapers and desks will in fact change the world by being in it.
Ordinary is where we get to live every day. It’s not flashy. But most people aren’t flashy.
But they are people.
Have a magnificently ordinary week, people.