Bill Mansfield was a military man. He served at the tail end of World War II, then in Korea and Vietnam. Like so many servicemen of his generation, he witnessed firsthand the horrors of war. Men around him died, and every day in battle brought new fear that he wouldn’t survive either.
That kind of trauma hardens a man.
After each deployment, Bill came home with a few more rough edges than when he’d first shipped out. His pain was deep and came out as physical and emotional abuse against his wife and children.
Bill’s angry and violent behavior was particularly hard for his son, Dennis. In the same way that war hardens a man, physical abuse hardens a boy. And well into his adult years, Dennis’ heart remained stone cold toward his father. Deep bitterness had built a wall, separating the two.
There was no communication.
There was no relationship.
There was no love.
Fortunately, God has a way of bringing about forgiveness and restoration in remarkable ways. In this case, it started with a rare gift from Bill when Dennis was 15 years old. It was a soldier’s helmet from World War II with the name “A.J. Malone” scrawled inside.
The helmet sat on Dennis’ shelf for decades. Then one year, while teaching a history class, Dennis and his students went on a search for the man to whom that helmet belonged.
They were all about to see their lives transformed.
The students engaged with history in a way they could never have anticipated, and Dennis discovered something else – how to forgive.
Rather than me telling you what happened, I’d love for you to hear it from Dennis Mansfield himself. He is our guest on today’s program, and I encourage you to join us. His story is a beautiful illustration of how God weaves our lives together across the decades in order to bring about His perfect will.
I think you’ll leave today’s show inspired, uplifted, and humbled. And you may even see with new eyes what God may be doing in your life at this very moment.