Sacred Service

US flag Memorial DayMemorial Day.

We pause in the busyness of life to honor those who have died in the service of our country. And to honor those who serve today.  And to honor those who try to serve but are denied the opportunity to do so because they are judged defective by virtue of who they love. They all are protectors of our lives and liberty.

No thanks are entirely adequate for those who gave their lives, or who choose to place themselves in harm’s way today.

Yet, I feel a tension between my deep gratitude and my deep desire to follow Jesus and renounce violence.

Is there no better way than war? Do we have to send these valiant men and women into battle?

However, the truth is, that though I tilt toward being a pacifist, I can never quite do it.

It comes down to trust. I don’t like admitting this, but the truth is that I do not trust God enough to protect us — without help — from those who mean to do us harm. And by “us” I mean not only our country but the parts of the world that hold democracy and equality and justice as core values.

So, today, and every day in my prayers, I remember and give thanks for all who stood, and stand, between us and the parts of the world that mean us harm. I thank them, and I thank God, too.