Friday, November 11, 2011
I hope you have enjoyed this week with me. I have learned much from my guests and I hope you have as well.
When I first set out to write Yesterday's Tomorrow, I wasn't really sure what I was getting into. I knew I would have to do my research. I didn't know much about war. Didn't really know how I felt about it. Some days I didn't want to write the book at all.
It was too terrifying.
But as I researched and read and learned, I found countless stories of men and women who possessed a courage I'd never imagined. Men and women who left their families and loved ones, left all they knew and stepped into hell, who sacrificed so much - I wanted to know why. Why would they do that? Why leave the comfort of home for a sweltering jungle? Why take up arms against foreign men in foreign lands? Why die for the sake of freedom?
Like Kristin in my book, I had many questions. Many doubts. And, like Kristin, I found there were no easy answers.
Most of the accounts I read from those who served all said the same thing. No regrets. They served because it was the right thing to do. Not because it was easy. Not because it was honorable. But because it was right.
There are always two sides to every story. There were those who were drafted. Those who protested. Those who ran.
But those who served, even when they were no longer sure what the right thing was anymore, they deserve our honor and our respect.
I'm still not sure I have a definite answer on how I really feel about war. It's ugly. It leaves scars. It kills. But it exists. It is reality. And as long as it is, there will be those who are called to fight. And really, whether we agree on the concept of war or not, we should all agree that they are out there doing what many of us could never do.
So how do we reconcile all this as Christians? What is it like for those who believe to go out and kill another human being? I asked those questions a lot during the writing of my novel. I write from a Christian worldview, so I knew this was something I needed to address. Yet once again, I found no easy answers. The best I could come up with is written here, in a discussion that Kristin has with her brother Teddy, who is serving in Vietnam.
He reached for her hands. "Have you stopped being mad at God?"
Kristin pinched her lips together. Where was God in all this madness?
The prayers she muttered when she felt the need seemed futile. Since coming to Vietnam, she’d seen nothing to convince her God even existed.
“Not really. I’m more confused than ever. You know what it’s like out there.
You’ve seen the death, the destruction. How can you sit there, knowing what’s going on up in those hills, and tell me God is okay with all this?
That He loves us?”
“Kris.” He tightened his grip on her hands, his eyes filled with a light she didn’t understand.
“God didn’t make this war. We did.” Clear determination and passion shone from his eyes.
“When I think about this war, think about the guys on the frontlines, I can’t help but think of Jesus. ‘No greater love has a man who lays down his life for his friends.’ That’s what the guys out there are doing for us, Kris. None of this makes sense, I know, but it makes even less sense without Him.”
Respect for her brother and what he was doing out here overrode any counterargument she could make. “I love you, Teddy.”
And perhaps, in some way, he was right.
Perhaps there really was no greater cost.
We may never have the answers to all the questions we ask. Maybe we're not supposed to.
However you feel about war, I urge you to remember those who serve. Pray for them. Remember their loved ones. Pray for them. Remember to say thank you.
They are laying their lives down for us. For me. For you.
For our freedom.
And for that, thank you is not enough.
But it's all we have.
So to all our Veterans, those lost to us and those present, those who still serve, and their families today, on this Remembrance Day, THANK YOU and MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU SAFE.
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