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I called your show this morning to comment on “abundance”. You might remember me, I talked about some experiences I had in the military and two of my children who joined the military and have developed a “spirit of gratitude”.
After I hung up you mentioned that you were in New Orleans and were dropping off your daughter to work in one of the inner city schools.
You then went on to speak about health care reform. I suspect that you and I have little in common as far as political orientation, and ordinarily I would have taken up the conservative side of the debate, but I was moved by the discussion that we had a few minutes earlier and my usual reaction was tempered by the fact that I was listening to a man that I had more in common with than not. We could discuss politics and theory ad nauseum, but for this one morning I was just talking to a guy who who was watching his child go off in to the big bad world.
I am willing to debate politics any time. What I (and people in general) need to remember, however, is that there is much more that binds us together than separates us.
You should be very, very proud of your daughter. I wish you and yours many blessings. I will say a prayer tonight for her, you and your wife.
441 S. Williamston Rd.
Dansville, Michigan 48819
PS: I am attaching a letter I wrote on Christmas Day in 2002.
Thursday, December 26, 2002 11:50 AM
From: “Carl woodard” View contact detailsTo: email@example.com
December 25, 2002
Dear President Bush,
I hope this letter finds you and your family well and
enjoying the holidays.
My son, Eric, joined the Army last July. Today we put
him on a plane for his “permanent” duty station, in
Germany. I use quotes because there is a question as
to whether he will be deployed to Afghanistan or
Kuwait. This worries me and his mother, but we
believe in a God who has long arms. I have to tell
you, however, that nothing I have done in life has
prepared me for watching my son walk down that ramp
and on to the plane.
I am writing to remind you, and more exactly to remind
myself, that you now have command over one of my most
precious things, my child. I know you take this
responsibility seriously, but I would be remiss if I
did not remind you that you now hold my son in trust
just as surely as God placed him in trust with me.
Obviously there are no guarantees in life, and our
world has become a dangerous place. I pray that God
will be with you as you make plans and carry out your
duties. I pray that God will bless you and those
working with you in ways you can not imagine or
ignore. Last, I pray that our nation will be mindful
that “to whom much is given, much is required” and
that we will not squander our blessings.
Carl M. Woodard
I hope you don’t mind my returning your kindness with some of the same. I told Kelly that you were one of the best callers I had ever had. It is so refreshing when the radio takes us (me) to a place, where someone speaks from mind and heart and experience (the three-way intersection which I believe generates wisdom). Your points about the effect of being displaced – into a different, difficult, poor culture – were obviously heartfelt. Despite our great human longing not to be uncomfortable, it is undoubtedly true that we grow when we are just that – uncomfortable, and have to look at our views, our assumptions, our long-held views and go “huh, wow, really?”
Thanks for your kind thoughts about my daughter. It is awe-ful (in the way the bible talks about awe) to see your children grow up – walk down that ramp you described to President bush – and not just grow up, but grow into the world, into sacrifice and risk and their values.
Let’s agree – however we might disagree on health care reform – to pray for each other’s children-turned-adults!
With gratitude for your reaching out (twice),