Good, Saturday, PDX!
Friends of ours were in Washington, DC this past week. They got to see and do many things. Saw President Obama as a wreath was laid and 31 new recipients of the Medal of Honor were named and commemorated at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington. Found there the gravesite and marker of a blood relative of mine KIA in 1967. Spent time in prayer at the Wall in honor of people I know and of my friend whose life is ebbing as we speak. Gettysburg...
In my mind, I have certainly journeyed with them and recall many images from my time there over 11 years ago.
It puts me in mind of a verse from tomorrow's gospel lesson from the 12th chapter of John. Jesus asks, "What should I say, 'Father, save me from this hour?'"
Perhaps none of us can understand that question in the way that those who have been sent to war do. To know the risks and the costs... And to go anyway... To know what's at stake... To live with that after returning, if one is blessed to do so... Much to ponder...
I don't believe my friend ever made it to the Wall. I don't believe he was ever quite ready. Or able. And now the choice may have moved beyond his reach.
I remember the ending of the poem "In Guernica" to mourn the death of children in the Spanish Civil War: And God will fill the bullet holes with candy.
Maybe we've all been given a basket of that candy. It may not be big enough to fill all the holes. Or many of them. Just some of them. A few.
So what shall we say, "Father save us from this hour?"