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Battlefields and Blessings

Jane Hampton Cook is the author of a series of books titled Battlefields and Blessings that recounts stories of the faith of soldiers and military leaders engaged in our nation’s major conflicts. In one passage in her compilation from the Revolutionary War, Cook describes the heroic efforts of Colonel John Trumbull at the Battle of Newport.

Briefly, Trumbull was attempting to warn other regiments who were retreating from the battle that the British were not satisfied with retreat. Their army and German mercenaries were pursuing the Continental Army in hopes of decimating their forces. Trumbull, while riding with great urgency, lost his hat and tied a white handkerchief around his head. The white “flag” made Trumbull an easy target and bullets whizzed past him on all sides as he rode. Despite the “headdress,” Trumbull completed his mission unscathed.

Trumbull marveled, “With this headdress, duty led me to every point where danger was to be found, and I escaped without the slightest injury.”

Cook wrote Trumbull had encountered the “mystery of survival.”

Lately, we have been on a raging battlefield in Orange Mound, as if the trauma and tragedy previously experienced by the women at My Cup of Tea was negligible. One of our dear women received the worst news a parent can hear. Her adult daughter died unexpectedly. The circumstances of her death make it no more or less tragic for her mother who is left wondering how she outlived her child.

The same week, another of our dear sisters lost her biological sister for whom she had been caring. And if that were not enough, in the midst of funeral planning and mourning, two of our sisters and a volunteer were diagnosed with the D variant of COVID-19.

For more than a year through disinfecting, social distancing and masking, our ranks avoided the virus. While other organizations and businesses struggled over the last year, we thrived. Now some of our sisters are hospitalized and others quarantined putting a strain on families and operations at the House.

Why us and why now?

The mystery of survival remains just that – a mystery. In the 6 years we have been in Orange Mound, our My Cup of Tea family has experienced what some would say is more than our share of disappointment, struggle, and tragedy. But we have experienced blessings too.

We have witnessed two women purchase their first homes; others are having their homes repaired and refurnished. Another gained custody of her granddaughter. Everyone has enough food to eat, including a lunch provided by volunteers daily – a fact that was not true when we started. Each of us has a cadre of sisters who pray together, love, and bear one another’s burdens. And the Lord continues to provide new customers and donors that allow to keep supporting Orange Mound women.

Upon completing his mission and realizing how miraculous it was to be alive, Trumbull exclaimed, “I thank thee, Oh thou Most High, for thou hast covered my head in the day of battle!” (Psalm 140:7)

God too has covered our heads in the past, and He will surely bring us through this battle.