Tuesday, August 11, 2009

And Then It Hits You

I had gone into our church's fellowship hall a few weeks past to sign up for something or see how many had signed up for something when I saw them. Over at the end of the row of tables sat a box of camouflaged toboggans. At least that is what we call those knit hats we pull over our cold heads down here. I understand a toboggan is really a sled. We don't do much sledding in Texas but our heads do get cold, especially the bald ones. Our Critter ladies had obviously knitted them. Critters is a group of ladies who meet and sew little animal critters for children's hospitals, nursing homes, and various other people and places who might be cheered up with a stuffed animal and a message of God's love. These "critters" have gone all around the world with various groups and missionaries. The latest group went to Vietnam last week. The Critter Ladies also stuff stuff into care packages that are sent over for the troops from time to time. These camo toboggans looked good. I tried one on. It felt nice, too. It was an extra tight knit and it fit just right. I wore it back into the office. Various comments about it covering my bald spot and how it looked better than some toupees were voiced. I took it back into the fellowship hall and put it back into the box. It was then I saw the packing list. They weren't toboggans. They were helmet covers destined for our troops in Afghanistan. And then it hits you again, we are at war. This is a crazy war. It's lasted longer than the Vietnam war, the Revolutionary War, and longer than WWII. It's killed fewer American soldiers but cost more than the others. It is rarely on the front page and rarely leads the evening news. The economy and Michael Jackson take those places. That seems weird too. It appears that most Americans ignore the war unless it's their child or grandchild or it's someone you know over there fighting terrorism. We seem to forget we've been at war with terrorism for nearly thirty years in one way or another. Maybe that's part of their strategy, a little here a little there, a big something now and then and back to the cultural, ideological, and slow war. You see a report of a truck bomb, a market blown up, a drone taking out a cave of terrorists, an IED explosion, and this war has become a routine line of information. We aren't called to sacrifice much, someone else is doing that for us. And then you try on a toboggan in the church hall and it hits you: we are at war and someone is paying a terrible price for me to remain free. And it hits you again, Some One has done that before. He, too, is ignored too often and the spiritual battles we are called to engage in for the souls of men terrorized and held captive by sin are fought by others. So I prayed over the box of camo knit caps. Would that they were bulletproof until Is. 2:4 is fulfilled. Would that I would remember my own battles and engage the enemy below with the love of God above. Terry