Yesterday was Veterans Day, and I had the unique privilege of welcoming veterans to the World War II Memorial in Washington DC through the Honor Flight program.
As I observed the veterans – some with tears in their eyes and others with big smiles on their faces – I thought of a veteran who means so much to me. His name is Golden Dyer. I only met him once for about 30 minutes, but those 30 minutes were influential.
In high school, my church’s youth group participated in a national project to record the history of America’s veterans. We went to the Veterans Hospital and visited with some of the members who reside there. We asked them a series of questions and recorded their answers. The final question we would always ask was, “If there was one piece of advice you could give to America’s youth today, what would it be?” It is through this project that I met Golden. I was assigned to interview him.
Golden was a gentle and kind man. At the conclusion of our interview, I asked him the standard final interview question, “If there was one piece of advice you could give to America’s youth today, what would it be?” Honestly, I don’t remember what he said. We parted ways and I went to meet up with the rest of my group members who were conducting interviews with other veterans. I walked down a few flights of stairs, and as I walked out of the building, I paused looking to my left and right wondering which direction I needed to walk.
At that moment, I heard my name in a soft and hushed tone. I turned around and saw Golden. I had no idea he had followed me down the stairs and out of the building. He walked up to me, slightly out of breath, and said to me, “I know what I want you to tell the youth of America.” He continued, “Every day before you go to bed, look in the mirror and say to yourself ‘I did the best I could do today.’”
Golden’s words deeply touched my heart. I knew that God had a purpose in aligning my earthly path and Golden’s earthly path for these few moments. In some ways, I am a guilt-ridden person who thinks her actions of love, kindness, and service are never enough. When I feel this way, I remember Golden’s counsel. Not only do I remember his counsel, but I remember his sincerity, and I remember the way my heart felt when he shared this message with me.
Yesterday, as I welcomed the veterans, I thought of Golden. My eyes became a little teary because my heart felt so full of love for a man whose simple counsel continues to bless my life today. It’s been ten years since I met Golden, and I am so thankful to God for that opportunity. I believe God puts people in our paths to serve as messengers to us of counsel from Him. This beautiful message from an apostle of Jesus Christ reminds us that sometimes the angels God sends to us are those individuals we are blessed to walk and talk with here on earth.
Messages of Faith
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