December 27, 2007

Off to Iraq, Probably

He can't come right out and tell us exactly where he's going, but we know. My son has left for war today. This is his third deployment.

He kissed his wife one last time, lingering over the deep blue of her eyes. He played with his son's Christmas presents. He tried to reassure and explain to a four-year old why Daddy has to go. With his last deployment his little boy would grieve that his daddy didn't love him anymore, and that's why he didn't come home. Then his beloved would grieve that she couldn't help him understand...

I know he tried not to choke up. I wasn't there, so I don't know if he was successful. My son is a soldier.

He called us so early this morning that we struggled to crawl out of bed to get to the phone. For my own reassurance, I asked him again, "Are you sure this is what God wants you to do?"

He's still sure.

What does a soldier do when he's sitting in the plane, alone with his thoughts? Can he hide the tear in his eye - or the torn place in his heart? Strong in his resolve, determined to do what is right, and yet feeling heavily the cost of his sacrifice. He wants to face even his own emotions unafraid, and yet keep his focus on the prize.

Thank you for our military, Lord. They do well to show the strength of our country and our morals. They represent the blessing of the land that You gave us, and that our fathers fought to keep. They are a wall to protect us, showing the ultimate in Your command to love others as we love ourselves. Thank You for these servants.

Lord, show mercy to their families. Hold them up and bless them with Your peace during these separations. Hear their prayers. Bring their families safely back together. And if the separation must last into the next life, then in Your faithful, loving care - hold them close to Your heart.

There is no human that doesn't long for the life of joy and peace. Thank You for coming to us, Prince of Peace.


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