Monday, May 25, 2015

A Memorial Day Reflection

This Memorial Day one question is haunting me… giving me pause, and making it difficult for me to laud and applaud the soldiers who have given their lives to this thing called war. Is it worth it? Is it worth the cost of giving your life for this country? Whether or not you have died in war, soldiers come back from war emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausted and broken.

Is it worth it?

I have encountered a handful of soldiers in my life who have returned from war with broken, bleeding, and wounded hearts. They suffer from severe cases of PTSD and have difficulty getting the care they need. One stated to me, “My PTSD counseling consists of sitting in a room with a TV recorded counselor.”

Did you hear what I just said? The country that demands these people give their entire lives over to, gives them nothing in return. They do not offer the care and support these people need to return to their regular lives outside the military. Instead, they are left with the empty praise and pats on the back from people who have no idea what they went through.

Again I must ask, is it worth it?

I cannot help but believe that something worth giving our lives for will bring us peace. It will bring us joy. It will bring us patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.  It will break us, but sustain us as well. It not only tears down, but builds up in the same breath.
How many soldiers come back from war and wonder if it was worth giving everything they are to hurt another person? The other side believes in their cause just as much as we do. At what point do we recognize the emptiness that war brings, and how it separates a human being from other human beings? It isolates and cuts them off from their families, friends, and loved ones.

This is what I grieve today. I grieve for those who think and feel as though no one understands or comprehends the significance of the sacrifice they made. I grieve for their families, because they are victims just as much as these people who have gone to war.

Lord Jesus, today I pray for all who have served in war. I pray that you would fill them with your peace. With your love; with your goodness. I pray that you will come in and heal the broken places in their hearts and minds, and give them strength to believe that there is more than war in the world. Help them know there is love, peace, patience, goodness, and kindness to give the world. I pray these spiritual gifts fill them and give them completeness and wholeness in the midst of their suffering. Most of all, I pray they know you. That they know you are present in their suffering, and that you will comfort them no matter what they have done. Holy Spirit you are welcome here… Jesus you have paid the price so that we do not have to… Father you have created space for us in your heart so that we may be complete. Thank you. Show us all the way. Amen. 

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