Friday, December 11, 2009

A Mother's Heart in War . . . Day 68, August 14, 2004

The Friday entries of "The Powder Room" are currently from a journal which I started when we found out our son was going to be deployed with the United States Marine Corps to Iraq. The journal was not written with the intention that it would ever be read by anyone else, much less published in any way. There are feelings in the journal that are deep and true and I wasn't sure at first I wanted to share them. But there are many sons and daughters still serving in our armed forces and I think it might be good to share "a mother's heart" with you what those other mothers may be facing. The entries are shared as a tribute to my son and his service to our country, and to all those sons and daughters who continue to willingly place themselves in harm's way for the protection and preservation of liberty.

Day 69, August 14, 2004

Sometimes I think less information is better.

When I didn't know when or if Noah was leaving, then I could put aside thoughts that he was leaving. Knowing that today -- if Hurricane Charly permits, our son will be flying to Iraq, is uncomfortable knowledge.

I think of that commercial flight full of young, talented, highly trained Marines --
"Gentleman, please make sure your seats and grenade launchers are in their upright and locked positions"
-- being shipped overseas. What must that air feel like? So full of anticipation and dread, fear and excitement, planning and denial.

Perhaps in a much more intense way it must be how my patients approach labor -- they are so excited about seeing the baby and yet so scared of the pain. I know that these young men are so ready to do what they are being sent to do. They have trained and trained and trained. For all that, they are still barely out of boyhood, but how quickly hurled into manhood! How much of what they have done up to this point is still part of the "cops and robbers" they played as little boys, only now with a real attitude and real weapons. How quickly everything will change when the bullets are aimed at them by real enemies.

What thoughts will pass through their minds the first time they have to pull those triggers at another human and know for certain it was their hand that brought death. How do they, can they ever, erase those images from their minds?

We must pray that the Lord will protect their hearts in all this, that they will not become hardened to human suffering because they have seen, and perhaps even caused, so much of it.

Much like the nurse who must cause the young patient pain in order to heal, may these young men reign in their emotions when they need to and later pour them out to the Lord when they are alone.

I think I pray more for Noah's protection from the spiritual ravages of war than from the outward, physical damages. I know our Lord is faithful to protect both.

Dear Lord,
My son is your son too.
He is walking a path You have set out for him --keep him in it.
Let not his foot sway to the left or the right without your guidance.

Cause his heart to call out to you
before he calls out to any other.
Protect him -- body, soul and spirit.

Work Your perfect work in him through these days
and cause him to know beyond any doubt that
You are abundantly sufficient in all things.

Cause him to trust You before he trusts in himself
or his brother Marines.

Draw him to Yourself and reveal Yourself to him in every step.
May he know You as his Strength, his Peace,
his Shelter and his Safety.

Mostly, dear Father,
glorify Your Son in
and through my son.

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