Moving Day

My time in this small town was coming to an end.  I had been led here by an urging I could not explain but could not ignore.  Each time I felt the call to move on, I ended up in another small town where I would find a poor soul who was desperate to know why God had forgotten them.  I was always amazed at the manner in which everything fell in place so that I would meet the person in need, I was able to build their trust and create a friendship, and then, help with their need while reminding them that at no time did the Heavenly Father ever turn His back on them.  Their faith restored, I would again feel the need to get moving – today is moving day.

I remember how it all started.  I was in the depths of despair.  I had lost the love of my life – time and a bad heart had taken her away.  I could not have felt more alone.  We had never had any children and I had retired from the Marine Corps years earlier to allow me to take care of my dear wife.  Toward the end, she was too weak to even get out of bed so I had lost contact with our friends as I sat next to the bed to feed her, read to her, and tend to her every need.  I remember holding her frail hand as she breathed her last, whispering, “I’ll see you on the other side.”

After the funeral, I sat in the empty house for days.  Soon the anger set in and it was time to take the Man upstairs to task.  I looked up and yelled, “How could you do this?  Why did you have to take her and leave me?  I spent my whole life trying to be a good servant – why have you forgotten me?”  Then I cried – I could not stop – I thought I would never stop.

Each person was at the same point I was – crying out that God had forgotten them.

Slowly, I felt something.  It wasn’t a voice as much as a feeling.  I knew I needed to be quiet and allow the presence to speak to my heart.  Then, a peace I could not explain come over me and I knew what I had to do.  I sold everything I owned and placed all the money in a trust.  I had my retirement check going into the trust, too.  This would allow the lawyer to wire me money when I needed it.  With everything in place, I bought a backpack, a couple of changes of clothes, and began to walk.  Town after town brought me in contact with people in need.  A single mother whose car was stolen got a used car – a family whose home had burned was cared for until the insurance money came through – a homeless man who truly needed dental work had his painful teeth removed and sported new dentures – a young boy who was being bullied learned to stand up for himself – and so many others.  Each person was at the same point I was – crying out that God had forgotten them.  Each one crossed my path and God allowed me to tell them this one simple truth – no, He will never forget you.

My work here was done.  A young widow whose husband was a police officer killed in the line of duty was able to take the state nursing exam so she could find a job that would allow her to care for her two children.  So, as I did before each move, I sat down and prayed, “Lord, let me find the next child of Yours who needs to know You love them – and let me love them for you.”

With that, I got up and started walking and singing.

“Jesus loves the little children.  All the children of the world…”


Len Bernat
Len Bernat
LEN is a leader groomed by 20 years of molding and shaping by some of the finest leaders in the United States Marine Corps. Their guidance helped Len realize his full potential as he moved from an enlisted Marine to becoming an Officer of Marines. Len became known for being the leader who could turn any lackluster organization into a strong, functional unit. Upon his retirement, Len worked in several positions before finally starting a second career in governmental procurement. His experience and leadership skills enabled him to be recognized as the 2011 Governmental Procurement Officer of the Year for the Governmental Procurement Association of Georgia and opened doors for him to teach at many of the association’s conferences. Len was also called to the ministry and was ordained at Ashford Memorial Methodist Church in November of 1999. Today, Len is the Pastor of Maxeys Christian Church in Maxeys, Georgia. Len has been married to his wife, Hazel, for 36 years and they have three daughters, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Grab your copy of Len's new Book – Leadership Matters | Advice From A Career USMC Officer. Using his life experiences as examples, Len takes the eleven principles of leadership and the fourteen traits every leader should possess—which he learned during twenty years in the Marine Corps—and teaches the reader how he was molded and shaped by some of the best leaders the Corps had to offer.

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    • Thanks, Tony, but please know this is just a story with my experiences intertwined with the fiction.