On 13-January-2018 at 8:07am the above statement was my present reality. This alarming message occurred approximately one year ago, and I will never forget where I was and my reaction.

Specifically, I was lying in bed checking my smartphone for any messages that came overnight. While checking Facebook, I noticed many residents on my local neighborhood page asking others if they had received the emergency alert? Interestingly enough, I knew I had not received the warning and now know have made changes in my phone’s settings to receive future alerts.

Fortunately, by the time I saw my neighbor’s concerns I knew it was too late to matter the outcome. Due to my military training, I know the approximate time from the probable country who would launch such a missile. By the time I discovered their alarms the rocket would have already hit Hawaii. Plus, I did not hear any sirens sounding where I live on post. All these words said, I could have been wrong, but I knew the odds were in my favor. Therefore, while I had initial anxiety, my unrest did not last long. However, that is not to say the memory is wasted.

Memory is a strange thing, especially when we realize what we correlate in our minds with other events. Our correlations can be significant, unimportant, positive, or even traumatic. On 13-January-2018 my memory of the remaining day is mixed but essential.

After the aftermath of the Ballistic Missile Crisis, there was much debate about what happened, who would be held responsible, videos of families running into shelter drains, and more. Sadly, there was even a family who had a heart attack from the wrongful alert. Later the family would respond with a lawsuit.[2]

For me, I traveled to downtown Honolulu to a cemetery. Before the alert, I agreed to perform the funeral of a Soldier’s family member who died way too early. While I cannot go into specifics of who the family is, who the family member that died is, and the deceased relationship to the living family, I can give you my reaction. My response is one that for the rest of my life when I think of 13-January I will think of the Ballistic Missile crisis. More importantly, the crisis will prompt me to remember the family who the Lord allowed me to minister to on this day.

As I said earlier, “memory is a strange thing.”

How do you recall your memories? How do your memories inspire you to benefit others? How does it move you forward to care for others beyond yourself?

Fortunately, as I look back at the catastrophe that was the 13-January Hawaii Ballistic Missile Crisis, I don’t look back at the day with judgment towards the government worker who created the mess. Thankfully, the lesson the Lord has given me from this day is a way to remember others and their affliction. On this day I spent time praying for the family who I had the privilege to minister to one-year from the date of this catastrophe. With each passing year, I imagine I will always remember them.

In future years, I pray my memory is utilized to remember others and their affliction.  That’s the lesson I see from one year later. How will you pray to use your memory for the Lord’s glory?!?!?!





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