Photo by Lee Lindsey McKinney
This piece was originally published in 2013.
Remembering is how we learn, how we connect, how we honor, O God. As Veterans’ Day approaches, may our memories be filled with these things: gratitude for those who trained for war, traveled to battle, served with body, mind, and spirit, and returned with their lives; appreciation for the sacrifices that soldiers and their families make in order to serve and protect; respect for the toll that war takes on body, mind, and spirit, not only in the trenches and bunkers, but also in the home, street, office, classroom, and social setting; amazement for the way some are able to overcome war’s lingering demons; understanding for those who cannot shake the images, thoughts, and emotional train-wrecks of war that have removed from them all hope of finding normal again. Give us courage to honor those who have served, as well as wisdom to recognize that war is not a path that leads to your promises. Instill in us, O Lord, a hunger for justice, a thirst for righteousness, and a craving for honesty that opens our eyes, ears, and hearts to a higher road; a road that refuses to settle for violence, fear, and hate; a road that is neither easy nor simple, but one that takes us on an arduous journey toward the mountain of your shalom; a road where peace replaces cease-fire, where bullets are molded into plowshares and bombs into pruning hooks. © 2013 Todd Jenkins