• Today's Daily Devotion
The Real Hero
The chaplain was up before dawn with the aircrews, sharing their last moments before another mission. He listened to the briefings and assignments, and followed their route ...

The Real Hero

The chaplain was up before dawn with the aircrews, sharing their last moments before another mission. He listened to the briefings and assignments, and followed their route laid out with tape across the map. As he looked at the young airmen he was almost overcome with feelings of love and fear. He knew them well, and he admired and loved them deeply. He also knew that, “For some of them it was the dawning of their last morning in this world.” For all of these men he was a link to home, and, as always, he gravely received their messages. This morning he was deeply moved when one man asked him to, “Tell my mother I know she is the real hero.”

The chaplain pondered the bond between mothers and sons and concluded that both were soldiers with difficult roles to play in a difficult war, but…

The greatest soldiers are the mothers of men. While men go to battle-fronts mothers endure a bloodless martyrdom. Theirs is fortitude’s braver part, for their hearts, life-laced and “love-laced” to their sons, must endure the hungering interval when human hate makes them childless in motherhood, long before they face the sorrows of death.

The chaplain’s thoughts turned to history’s greatest example of a heroic woman, the mother of our Savior. “ Enduring her sufferings, by her compassion, Mary then became the strength and consolation for sorrowing mothers through the ages. She who had seen the shadow of death over His whole life from the crib to the Cross, could do nothing to help her dying Son.” May God bless all mothers who have to stand aside as their sons go into harm’s way. They send them into the world with the gift that is the most Christ-like of all gifts: a mother’s love.

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”

—John 19:26–27


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