Being a missionary kid, I’m not always hip to the reason for our American holidays. Last night I asked whether Memorial Day remembered everyone who’d
served in the military or just those who’d died.
“No,” answered my husband with exaggerated patience, “Veteran’s Day is for all the military. They decided not to call tomorrow Dead Veteran’s Day because it sounded tacky and impolite.”
In my defense, I must note that he also supplied a lecture on Armistice Day and this confused me.
I grew up in a war. I’ve assisted surgeries that finished removing blown off limbs. I’ve felt the surge from having a gun pointed at me.
I feel empathy for those who, having fought and perhaps killed, also lose their buddies in battle or afterward to incurable wounds, depression, or hard living.
After all the desperate “help” prayers have ceased. After the adrenaline kick of living from one heightened awareness to another peters out. After you’ve been fitted for a prosthetic, attended the funerals, finished the welcome-home party. After you’ve gone back to fighting with your spouse the same old way you always did before you swore those thousand times you’d never take one another for granted again. After the gratitude and guilt for your own survival have worn off.
After that and more, how do you pray? How do you remember what he allowed and still trust God enough to ask him for your daily bread (Matt 6:11)? How do you remember what’s been lost and yet bless his name (Job 1:21)? How do you remember the dead and still perform your duty to God (2 Sam 2:1)?
It took Iñigo López twenty years of returning to God one day at a time before his after (war) life and his prayers matched in peace. He sought visions. He pounded himself from one kind of service to another. He traveled. Ultimately, time logged with Jesus in meditation proved to be his source of meaning.
And you? How do you both remember what God has allowed and call off your hostilities against him for the sake of peace?