Raw Reflections from the Journey

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Heartaches of An Officer

"Why are we here, Lord?"

"Because I've commissioned you as officers for this War."

The setting was a rain soaked setting on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in the fall of 2004.  Just after the sun peaked through receding storm clouds our attention was drawn to a beautiful view of the U.S. Capitol.  It was then that I asked the question that our Divine Commander in Chief answered.

Raised in the Midwest, it was surreal to be in our Nation's Capitol, and even more surreal to consider that we would soon be living there to serve an Executive role in a national marriage ministry designed to save marriages.  So, there we were, becoming acclimated and trying to make sense of our journey on a runaway train piloted by The God-Man.

"Lord, why are we here?"  

His Answer: "Because I want you to lead in this campaign."


It would have been appropriate if He'd also repeated what He said to Saul.  "Now I will show you how much you must suffer for my name."

At the outset it was exhilarating and intoxicating.  Moving to Washington to Lead!  Little did we know the price to be paid that we would be prepared from the inside out to lead as servants, in humility.

Have you seen the before and after pictures of soldiers fresh from boot camp compared to veterans returned from combat?  The experience ages them, breaks them, sobers them.  To lead and to serve is a privilege, yes.  And it costs.

One of the heartaches of an Officer is to watch troops fall.  Warriors with full lives ahead of them, full of potential and promise taken out by the enemy.  Tragic, demoralizing, senseless.

It happened again today, and I need to process it.

A couple full of potential and promise.  Their recent interactions never better.  "Doing really well! Hopeful for the future!"  A couple we hoped could join us as officers to lead and inspire others.

But the enemy saw them too.  He saw that they were doing well, and He counter attacked with fresh and ingenious strategy to destroy them.  And they complied.

"I'm done, Jeff.  It's over."


Yep.  I swore.  So infuriating! So needless!  So sad . . .

Damn the one who is behind this.  Our enemy is defeated, he won another round . . . neutralized another couple . .  . ended their service as officers before they got started.

It doesn't have to be this way.  Dear God!  It doesn't have to be this way!  There's a better way . . a way to resist the devil . . a way to flee temptation . . . a way to repair from brokenness.  Dear God.  Please stop the carnage.

Tragically, they're not the first we've served that became casualties.  There have been many more.  Way too many more.

Part of training and leading troops is to watch some of them become casualties.  Promise and potential suddenly ended, but every time hurts as much as any other.  

Dear God, please resurrect the marriages that appear to be dead.  Only you can resurrect the dead. Only you can miraculously heal.  And Lord, please help us to persist, with hope, even when . . . especially as we're grieving the loss of those we loved.  In your name, Jesus; and for your sake.  Amen.