people, emotion and teens concept – sad unhappy pretty teenage girl sitting on windowsill over blue sky and clouds background

As I read the Washington Post report of an epic Navy sex-for-secrets scandal coming to light and the staggering corruption of high-ranking Navy officials being exposed in the U.S. Pacific’s 7th Fleet and beyond, I cringed with embarrassment. What an awful, shameful mess these men have created.  Their far-reaching actions have the prospect of tainting the reputation and authority of everyone associated with the US Navy, including this humble Navy wife.

The contradiction in emotions I have felt this week, first being honored with a standing ovation at the 2016 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for my first place poem, Four Flames of Honor-A Tribute to Military Wives and then being shocked by the news of the Navy/Malaysian Glenn Marine Group scandal, has really rattled my cage.

“How could this happen?” I asked my now retired husband, a career naval officer of more than 30 years of service. “I guess the usual assistance we come to rely on whenever we pull into a foreign port just got out of hand—and then there was no way out…”

What will I say when someone asks, as surely they will, what I think about this scandal?

To begin with, I’ll call the exposed corruption what it is; a shame—and a sinful disgrace.  That’s not being judgmental, that is being truthful.

Then, with no excuse making for the actions of the high ranking officials involved, I will mention another truth. Sin and shame are nothing new. They are one of the first human acts and emotions recorded in the Bible.  Adam and Eve sinned when they rebelled against God, disobeyed His command not to eat or even touch the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden and afterward what did they feel? Sorrow and shame. Equally interesting is the way their reaction at being found out mirrors the reaction of men and women today.  Deny, cover up and find someone else to blame. (Genesis 3).

But there’s another truth, an even greater truth which we must not forget. Shame and disgrace do not necessarily get the final word in our lives. Why?  Because there is no sin you can imagine that is greater than God’s love.  When Jesus died on the cross, he died, once-and-for-all, to forgive our sins and cover our shame.  When we look to Him—not because we are sorry we got caught—but because we are heartily sorry for having gone our own way instead of His way, He is faithful and just to forgive us. He hears us when we call and is there to catch us when we fall.  He never gives up on us no matter who or how important we may be.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38-39

While I am greatly shocked and embarrassed by the depth of this mushrooming naval corruption and scandal within the 7th fleet, I pray the high ranking officials, NCIS agent and all others involved will repent, seek forgiveness and eventually bounce back in the right direction.

Please join me in prayer for these men and their families.

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