I went to see "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" again recently. About midway through it, though, I nearly walked out because the desire to write these thoughts down was so strong. (That's really saying something too...if you know how big a fan of this movie series I am!)
It's been a few hours since these thoughts started forming and lots of different activities have taken place in between here and there so I am hoping that I can recapture all of what came to me.
In watching the battle scenes and seeing just how gory and horrible war can be, I began thinking about our current world situation. I would be lying if I didn't say that I was afraid of what the future may hold. If we do go to war, I realize that I could lose my husband, my boys could lose their father...those points are definitely not lost with me. All I have to hold onto is the fact that God has taken care of us wonderfully so far and I trust Him to do so in the future. I may not know the future, but He does, and I know He will take care of us. I can trust Him because His love is so great and He is bigger than all of this mess! I feel like He is preparing many of us for what we may face soon. It's a little frightening sometimes but there is a Peace that is impossible to explain which flows deep within me. A Peace that can only come from our Heavenly Father.
The weapons of war may have changed over the centuries but the sacrifice, the gore, the death, none of that has changed much. War is despicable and ugly. Like in these movies, war always leaves women and children behind...hearts break...men die. Even if they don't fight, that is still no guarantee of peace. Evil men will not be stoppped with words when they are bent on ruling others and consumed with the lust for power. As long as there are men who are driven by evil and the desire to have power and rule over people, and as long as there are people of honor willing to stand up for what is right, there will always be war. When people of honor are no longer willing to fight, there may not be as fierce a battle, but there will be no peace, surely. Only pain and suffering because men driven by a lust for power are usually not inclined to be compassionate in their rule.
Here is my perspective of our current situation. I am unsettled, thinking of letting go of my husband, not knowing if this is the last time I will say good-bye to him, not knowing if he will be one of the fallen heroes this time. But I know I must do so. It is "in his blood" to protect us...to protect his family...to protect his country...to protect innocent people who are oppressed by a dictator who holds little regard for the value of human life. Protecting others has always been what drives Robert to serve in the military. At some point, there must be men willing to stand up and fight against evil that desires to conquer. Men of honor. I know some of these "men of honor" who will be deployed to fight, if war should become necessary. I am married to one of them. : ) I know some of the families left behind. Many of them are very dear to me. I know the sacrifices of service to country firsthand. We must be strong because at some point, we must acknowledge that sometimes peace only comes on the other side of war. Men who have no honor will not be made obedient through diplomacy, not when they are so driven to rule.
Saddam has proven himself to be a liar. How can we negotiate terms of peace with someone who is not trustworthy? How can we reason with someone who can commit such atrocities against other human beings? Never mind the fact that some of the victims were his own people! True courage knows when to walk away and also when to take a stand and fight. Our country would not even exist if there were not some who had the courage to stand against injustice. What is left of our courage if we can turn a blind eye to such a man? We cannot be unwilling to fight because war is ugly. We cannot ignore such a heartless man with a growing arsenal who harbors such disregard for human life. We could turn our backs on him again, give him more time, listen to more lies, all the while he will grow stronger and be an even bigger threat in the future. He will not disappear if we hide our heads in the sand and pretend he is not there. The time has come, I believe, to make him abide by the resolutions he has already been given. He's had many years to do so on his own but has instead chosen defiance. If the UN does not act decisively, they will lose credibility. Even more so than they already have. I do not believe that Hussein respects the authority of the UN at all. No one fears or respects a barking dog who has no teeth.
Fighting for what is right is never easy but it is necessary. If we go to war, I realize this action could possibly unleash a fury of backlashes against our country, against our citizens, from those who wish to see us destroyed. I know that there are those who will say it is our fault because we went to war. If we don't go to war, how long will we be safe from those who harbor such hatred in their hearts toward our very existence? We didn't "go to war" before 9/11 did we? We were attacked by cowards whose hearts are filled with hatred for everything we are. It may not have been Iraqis who attacked us on that day but they share the same hatred for us. There are many groups of "whackos" out there who are more than willing to be the "hands and feet" of those who wish to crush us...to "put us in our place" in their own bitter way. How long before the weapons that Iraq is developing end up in their hands? He is not even supposed to have these weapons! To ignore his open defiance of the terms he agreed to at the end of the Gulf War would be irresponsible.
I would not have been able to deal well with this possibility of war under our previous President. It is not as difficult (as it would have been) to send my husband off to war under our current leadership because Bush has been so outspoken about his own faith. I can "stomach" this because, as far as I can tell, we serve the same Lord. As "regular citizens" we cannot be priviledged to all the information gathered about this situation (or others) upon which he has to make such huge decisions. So how can I trust him so much more than Mr. Clinton? Because I trust his moral character. I am not saying that President Bush is perfect, by any means. No person is! I can only make an assessment of who he is based on what I see and hear from him and about him. "Judge a tree by it's fruit." I am comforted that it seems he is willing to obey the same Lord I serve. I pray for him regularly, especially now. I pray that he will allow God to lead him to what is the right thing to do. I pray that his eyes will be open to the path our country is supposed to take. I pray that we do not go to war out of pride. I pray that if we are to back down, if this is not the right time to stand and fight, that God will give him the wisdom to see that and the strength to do so. I pray that if we are called to war, that President Bush would continue to seek the Lord's guidance and that our casualties (and that of innocent Iraqi civilians) be few, even zero, which would be a clear miracle, but I know now that God is still in that business! : )