Many of you were not alive during WW II. Perhaps you weren’t around during the Korean or Vietnam Wars either. Then there was the civil unrest of the 60’s. So, the fear and tensions we are experiencing now can be new and overwhelming. I remember well the years of Vietnam. My two older brothers were in the service.
As if it were yesterday, I remember dropping Mark off at the airport. I was 14 and looked up to my big brother. He had come back from Boot Camp so powerful, proud and confident – he and I both thought, “He’s invincible!”
I had never seen my dad, nor my stepfather cry. But as soon as Mark was on the plane and out of sight the tears began to roll. The happy times of our life were on hold. It was then it hit me. This is not a movie where the hero is victorious and the world is saved in 90 minutes!
Mark was in Vietnam a little over a year. My other brother, Don, was on a supply ship making regular trips from shore to shore. I always found it comforting imagining Don was there to get the supplies that Mark needed to do his job and when complete, bring him home. In the meanwhile, he was close by to keep an eye on him. It was the longest year of our lives. The fears and tension were constant, intense. By the grace of God, Mark and Don made it home. Mark earned a Purple Heart and both of them had my respect. For many it was an unpopular war, but you wouldn’t have known it at our house. My brothers were serving their country and making their family proud!
There are times I sense that same fear and tension today – 9-11, Iraq, Dallas, Nice, a dozen other places and times. Now there is this coming week in Cleveland. Perhaps in my ignorance and naivety, in the past I simply enjoyed the political circus – Nixon and Kennedy, Reagan and Carter, Bush and Dukakis, Bush and Gore. But today is different. The enemies of our country are not just outside our borders, they are on our shores… often times invisible.
At fourteen I did not know the Lord and my fears often collapsed into hopelessness. But now…
“Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High. What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” Psalm 56:1-4
The fears and tension are often close by, but the hopelessness is gone for in God I have put my trust!
Think about it.