By Jannice May
Escorting the Remains of Lance Corporal Chance Phelps is a documentary that shows how a young man was taken good care of on his final journey home. The focus was not about being for or against the war. This documentary was about valor, honor and respect, and it had a great effect on me.
Lieutenant Colonel Strobl volunteered to escort the remains of Marines killed in Iraq. The military provides a uniformed escort for all casualties of war to ensure they are delivered safely to their families. Colonel Strobl was asked to escort Chance Phelps home to Billings, Montana.
As I watched I was moved by how much love was shown over and over to Chance. Colonel Strobl made sure Chance was never alone as his body was moved from place to place in preparation for his trip home. He treated Chance with the utmost respect and honor. Even the night before Chance's funeral Colonel Strobl stayed the whole night so he would not be left alone.
Colonel Strobl had never met Corporal Chance Phelps, but he felt as long as Chance was being moved from place to place he was to treat him as though he were still alive. He was always by his side making sure all honor and respect was shown to him. Thank God for men like Colonel Strobl!
Watching this, I could not stop thinking about the escort we have. Colonel Strobl did not know Chance. Our escort knows us, died for us, loves us and even likes us. I couldn't stop comparing what our escort has done for me personally and for Connecting & Bonding. I thought about the many miles I have flown, not enjoying any of it because I am afraid to fly. I do it because my escort has been faithful. The flights haven't always been as smooth as I would have liked but they have been safe.
My escort has been a rock for me, even when the money is not always there to help one more woman attend a ministers’ wives conference or even pay for it. The money has always come and my faith has grown to where I can step out more.
This documentary also inspired me not to become complacent in my spiritual journey. It is so easy to let down spiritually when we let busyness take over our lives. We are being offered so much as we learn more about Trinitarian theology and how our ever-present Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not only with us, but in us. “Surely I am with you always even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Our great Triune God says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). God is so consistent. I feel his presence in my life and I am sure you can say the same.
At our Connecting & Bonding conference in September, Anne Stapleton read a scripture from The Message Bible. It spoke to my soul.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28).
When the storms of life come upon us and ministry gets hard or health issues happen, our escort says, “Come to me. I know you. I love you. I like you. I will give you rest.” Our escort will make sure we are never alone. He will always treat us with the utmost valor, honor and respect.