Saturday, July 5, 2008

War Not Over When Soldiers Come Home

This touching piece is written by our special Pixel Amy Barkman. Grab a tissue.

Not Over
by Amy Barkman


It’s so exciting when our soldiers return from service on foreign soil. We relax and breathe a sigh of relief. It’s over and we can let up on our prayers, right?

My husband served two terms in Viet Nam. When we got married he’d been home for sixteen years. I was shocked to find out that he often woke up drenched with perspiration and fear from nightmares that he was on a ship headed back for a third term of duty.

A few years later, we attended a huge Christian conference and before the preacher began his message he asked that all the Viet Nam Veterans stand up. He assured all other Vets present that he appreciated them too but God had put this on his heart for the ones who served in Viet Nam. When the eight men – out of over 4,000 people present– were standing, he said “This is from God and from me. Welcome home, soldier, you did a good job.” My husband wept and said “That’s the first time anybody ever said that to me.”

We’ve learned to show appreciation to our troops on their return since the injustice toward those who served in Nam. But have we learned that just because they are off the battle field physically, their inner war is not over.

Those who fight for freedom do not come back the same as they left us. My husband’s nightmares were not because he wasn’t shown appreciation; they happened because of the horrors of war he experienced.

The horrors of war haven’t changed. Don’t stop praying for our soldiers who make it back safely. Just pray differently. Pray that the healer of broken hearts, the healer of minds who’ve seen horrors, will heal and cleanse and purify their minds and emotions. And pray for their families as they walk with them to wholeness.

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