A couple of Sundays ago, while Eric was still State-side working on his doctorate, the kids and I visited a local church that had a significant number of military families in attendance. Towards the end of the service, there was a time of open prayer. A mother with children approximately two, ten and 13 years old began to pray. She prayed that God would be with her husband (who apparently had been recently deployed). As she prayed she broke down in tears. Following the prayer, the congregation sang, "Faith of our Fathers" and we watched as this family clung to each other and cried. The 13 year old boy, in particular, was having a really hard time. It was a very painful and yet poignant reminder of the price that is paid for our freedom. Here, in flesh and blood, not on a television screen, was a real family--a Christian family, painfully separated by war. That picture has never left my mind. It was a disturbing picture; one that upset my own children and prompted a lot of discussion around the dinner table. I know I have seen pictures of families distraught because of having lost their "daddies." However, I had never witnessed (or pathetically, even thought about) the loss, fear, and loneliness these families face on a daily basis when a parent is deployed. I hope I never forget that disturbing and painful picture of that family's suffering. I hope that this will make me more grateful for my freedom and that I will pray more diligently for the military men and women AND their families.