by Lt. Lucas Gantner

Reconciliation is challenging for me because it implies someone has done wrong and needs to apologize to make the relationship right again. I didn’t feel like that with God.

I grew up with both my parents in the military. We moved a lot—talk about foreshadowing—and in every location we tried out a different church, but we never could get into it. Early on, I knew I wanted to help people in the medical field and join the military like my parents. I attended community college with plans to transfer to a Physician Assistant program at a state university and join the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) in preparation for being an officer in the U.S. Army. I was a good person and generally was accepted by everyone. I did not feel I needed to apologize to God.

As I completed the last semester for my associate’s degree, my Uncle John asked me to assist him and Aunt Tracy in their first “Red Kettle Campaign” at the Omaha Kroc Center. I found myself helping people not only physically but spiritually. I moved to Omaha soon after that and went to worship every Sunday. God laid on my heart that despite how good I thought I was I did not meet His standard. I reconciled myself to that realization and gave my life to Christ, then quickly became a soldier. In an irony orchestrated by God, I didn’t join the U.S. Army but am in the (Salvation) Army now.

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