Some horses walk into the arena and you can look at them and know… that THEY KNOW they are about to win.
It’s that extra ingredient in every champion. And… rarely… it’s found in people, too.
A quick introduction.
And then, there he stood.
- Decorated, but refusing to address the fact.
- Excited to be home, but calm, seemingly
for the sake of everyone else in the room.
- Sorrowful, yet sharing only his joy.
- And in Love.
U.S. Army Capt. Stoney L. Portis, troop commander for Troop B, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment has stories. Real stories. And today he stood before a group composed mostly of strangers and made light of the fact that he was ill prepared to be addressing a congregation.
And then he told us a story.
A Love Story.
Yes, Capt. Portis’ story was riddled with acronyms. Some were places such as FOB (Forward Operating Base) and COP (combat outpost). Some were funny such as BCG (Birth Control Glasses) – ’cause you’re never gonna meet your wife wearing a pair of glasses like those. 😉
And some were dangerous, like RPG (rocket propelled grenade).
But, they all aided in the painting of an illustration. An illustration depicting a transformational journey. One of ambition, adventure and courage…. strife, despair and loss…. honor, strength and love. A journey I almost feel guilty to have experienced, since I did not have to actually experience it.
Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Details of Stoney’s journey will be withheld since I’m not sure just how public he wants his story to be.
However, here are some assumptions I think we can all agree upon:
- Knowing of your best friend’s impact in a war and hearing of his “being hit” would definitely be a trial.
- Leaving your wife for what may be the last time you’ll ever see her would absolutely be a test of faith.
- Knowing that someone with you will be hit every single day that you patrol, and not knowing which it will be (or if it’d be you), would be the ultimate trial.
Yet, Capt. Portis considers it all joy. And his perseverance is perfect. The focus was not on action, nor politics, nor strategy. It did not include ranks, nor accomplishments. So what did it include?
He is a sinner. He loves Christ. He knows that he is loved by Christ. He loves his men. And he loves his bride.
American Warriors are a violent, rambunctious, spirited and courageous people. They are driven. And they are, behind Christ, the only human being willing to lay their life down – for You.
This message of Love from the mouth of a warrior is nothing short of profound. When one truly lives, and keeps love in his heart… he is always prepared. Thanks Stoney.
Here’s one for the American Warrior
Though his soul aches for reasons we can not know,
his heart rejoices in dreams he will not show.
They hear commands and count the days.
Surrounded by death and foreign ways.
So, find a soldier and shake his hand
For granting us abundant land
And time to work and time to play
Time to kneel and time to pray
For the soldiers heart lift a prayer above
May it beat strong, and always know Love.