Monday, March 23, 2009

As A Moral Person Again...

Happy 2nd day of spring!

It takes forever to warm up here in the spring. That's why spring lasts forever here. But this year is later than previous ones and probably not a bad thing for that reason. It had been warming much too early in previous years. So buds are only slowly coming forth.

But I'm not much in the mood to notice today. The gray, rainy weather fits the mood. My best friend is dying. No details unless he gives me the OK to share them.

But this I can say. Some years ago over a beer in the Atlanta Underground I asked him, "How ya doin' anyway? How ya really doing?"

He looked at me and said, "After you've killed other human beings it can be hard to think of yourself as a moral person again."

But he was beginning to do that, to be able to do that.

Pretty damned impressive victory, if you ask me.

We think people who have been in wars and taken human lives should be unscathed, untouched, unmoved by that. That they should return to life and have everything be just like it was before. That they should somehow grin and say they were doing their patriotic duty. Well, most of them can. And do. 10-20%, or so, yeah, they end up all PTSD'd and stuff.

We never ask about whether they feel like moral people after that. We never ask whether they can stand before their own kids and feel like something other than hypocrites. We never ask how the grieving process is going for them personally. There are the ones who show up for memorial ceremonies and July 4 parades and wear VFW hats and carry flags and wave from behind their sunglasses. Hooray for all who can!

And there are those who can't go near such events. Who can't go near their own grief and pain, or it might pop out of the box where they've been able to keep it. So far.

He was beginning to think of himself as moral. Again.... That means that for a good chunk in there somewhere he didn't. He couldn't.

Have you ever offered to carry that burden for someone? Do you think you could carry it yourself?

I know somebody who has. And now he's dying. He's younger than I am, but he's carried a lot more. I'm sad for him and his family. And for the country who has never wanted to know him. I love him greatly. And I will miss him deeply. And I wish him spared of any more pain.

Pray for this family. The next months will be hard.


Pastor Roger

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