As we near Nov. 11, many of us prepare to gather together to remember the cost of our freedom, our way of life, our privileges and many other things. One of the biggest costs that we remember are the many lives that were lost, men and women, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, friends that died in the wars. Many of their names are written in books or on plaques because they died in the wars. However there were many who died in the wars but returned home as shadows of the people that they were. Many people fleeing the war, scarred by what they saw, or heard. Many loved ones waiting in hope that was never fulfilled. The reality is that there are no winners in war but there are millions of losers. Just because one side conquers another does not dictate a winner, it means that they may have been stronger, had more resolve, but it does not mean that they won.
War is a place of great sin where people are asked, ordered, forced to face the worst of humanity. I have never experienced it. I know that what I have read, the stories that I have heard, and the silent horrors in people’s eyes does not convey the fullness of the experiences that haunt many people.
King David was a man after God’s own heart but even he had a strange separation from God because of war. In 1 Chronicles 22:7-10 he tells us that it is because of all the wars that he fought and the blood on his hands that he was not going to be the one to build a temple to God. Even though war was necessary, it still was filled with sin, and was not right. The killing of people whether in war or protecting people at home leaves our soul unsettled and wounded. Whether you were fighting, or waiting, or witnessing the atrocities of war, the sinfulness of war affects who we are right down to our very soul. It does not mean that God does not love us, God loved David but we need to realize and address the depths of hurt that affect the body, heart, mind, and soul, not belittle them or avoid them. Every time I hear the last post, there is a deep moving in my heart and soul. Thankfulness for the freedom that we have but also realizing that I will never know the full cost of that freedom.