Respecting the awesome power of words!

11-11

ll-mc

                         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
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