Brethren, as we all remember our first admittance into a Lodge of Entered Apprentice’s, we were asked a series of poignant and important questions. None more important than the one we were asked while kneeling down in front of the Worshipful Master and the assembled Brethren, “ in times of Difficulty and Danger in whom do you put your trust?” Well I can tell you, this was a question that I had known the answer to long before I had ever became a Master Mason.
Over the course of our lives, I am sure there was a time when we all have dealt with some sort of difficulty or danger. My life being no different, I have never lost my faith in God.
I am sure some of us have had to deal with the loss of a job and having to worry about making the rent payment or putting food on the table. We have all had to cope with the loss of a loved one. Some of you were, or are currently first responder’s or members of the Military who put your own lives in Danger on a daily basis to protect and help others in need. These are just some of the examples of what I consider times of difficulty and danger.
There have been times in my life that I have had to put my trust in God and have faith in what I was taught as a young boy, is that all things happen for a reason. I will give you a personal example that has to do with my son. When he was less than a year old, he was sitting in his high chair and grabbed a hold of my freshly poured coffee cup and it spilled down on him. Most of it landing on his left leg. This as you may know resulted in a quick trip to Children’s Medical Center. He had Second and some third degree burns on his left leg from the front of his upper thigh down to just above his ankle. As a result of his burn, he underwent a successful skin graft surgery to repair the areas that were affected by the third degree burns.
It was around 3 to 4 months after his surgery that we were discharged from the care of the Burn Doctor at Children’s. It was at this moment that the Doctor who had cared for my son told us that he would put us in contact with the Shriners Hospital in Cincinnati and that from this point forward they would care for and monitor his leg for the rest of his childhood and into his young adult life. I knew about the Shriners, and what they did for children all over the world, but what my Wife and I did not realize is that we would not have to pay one cent for his care or any further surgeries he may have to undergo. We go back once a year for a checkup and fortunately for us he has not had to undergo any more surgeries as of yet and his leg has not hindered his growth or ability to be an active young man. He is now 16 years old, and has grown taller than me. I have to look up at him now. This was as you could imagine very difficult time for me and my family.
We never once said Why us? Why him? Even though I did wish that it was me, but we never lost our faith remembering that sometimes these things happen for a reason. I owe a debt of gratitude towards his Doctors at Children’s Medical Center and now the Shriners Hospital, one that I could never repay. So as a result this is one of the reason’s that I became a Mason. This incident opened my eyes to all the good things the Fraternity does for each other and strangers alike. This was something that I was certain I wanted to be a part of. I have learned much about the Fraternity in my short time as a Mason, with much more to learn. But one thing I have learned is that when you need someone to talk with about anything life throws at you, or you need a helping hand, you can always depend on a Mason.
So here we are in uncertain times. I would say they would qualify as both Difficult and Dangerous. Difficult in not being able to assemble with family and friends, go to work, have dinner at a restaurant, see a movie, or go to a ball game. Dangerous because of the seriousness of this Covid Pandemic we are dealing with now, and the uncertainty that lay ahead. We all need to keep our faith, knowing that all things happen for a reason. In time, this too shall pass and we will prevail. I look for the time that our lives will get back to normal, and I pray that it soon will. But until then, everyone stay safe, look out for one another and remember who you put your trust in during times of Difficulty and Danger.
May God bless you and your Family, and take care.
John E. Lawhorn IV