"...on behalf of a grateful nation..."
Memorial Day sets me to remembering... generations of soldiers in my family... from the Civil War to this very day... the military bases here and overseas that I've called home... the familar sound of taps and gunfire...
As I explained the wars and conflicts to my older children this year our overview of U.S. History, it makes sense... war is necessary... securing and defending freedom, protecting family and homeland from enemies foreign and domestic, liberating those under oppression,...
... all it takes is a visit to Yad Vahsem ... or a glimpse of any image of the holocaust to know that evil cannot be ignored.
Last night I dreamt about the Civil War... I was there, carrying jars of water... at the end of a battle, at the end of a war, when the final counts are done... there is a disconnect between necessary and the pain, the loss and death.
"Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me." Lamentations 2:22
On the fields of the Western Front, after a few hours of truce December 24, 1914, having seen the enenmy face to face, did they wonder what it was all about... or did they know.
What are we fighting for?
What are we dying for?
What are we living for?
I'm thinking of bigger things today. About misunderstandings, about pride, control, anger, power, human-nature, selfishness,... blindness to our own faults. Sin. Why do we hurt eachother?
I long for grander things... eternity is set in my heart today.
I ache for grace.
on earth, between men...
But, what about the pain... the wound, that rips open with a memory. How do you really forgive when bitterness hides and stikes at an unsuspecting moment... bites, and venom again courses through... again. or just anger... and WHY?
I know that Memorial Day only got me started ... as I write this, I'm thinking about so much more. It is not just about calling my aunt this morning, more to comfort myself than her if I were honest.
It's about my own questions about people, life, ... the fall.
I hear echos of Wilfred Owen in my mind...
(Dulce Et Decorum Est)
I am "sick of sin".
"What is the source of quarrel and conflicts among you? ...war in your members? ...murder, fight, quarrel, wrong motives..." James 4
My own quest for "right", "justice" ... wanting to see it in others. Questioning my own motives. Why this passion for inegrity on all fronts?
This is why I write... to give myself a place to think, process all that is in my heart.
In the time I have typed all this, I've come full circle... I have my answer. The same answer the Lord gave me years ago when I was grieving the death of twins...
"O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul... hope in the LORD ... forever." Psalm 131