Saturday, October 9, 2010

EIA, not MIA

Mom is 103. Actually, 103.5. I brought her three yellow roses on her half birthday on Tuesday. It was humbling to see my sweet little Mom, carrying on the noble fight for her life with grace, peace and a little humor not common to the general lot of us.

Mom might not ever be able to walk much or very far again. A bum knee she's had for 50 years is really acting up now. That saddens me because it limits her so.

We shared some deep and wonderful time for four days this past week. We can talk about almost anything. Her mind is there still. She doesn't have the latest information on things. Who does? But she's willing to talk about what she knows.

She and I can talk about the war. Wars, actually. We can talk about Iraq and how we got there. We can talk about Afghanistan. And how we got there. And where we're going. We can talk about what it means to go to war and what following Christ calls us to do.

I deeply love and respect my Mom for this. Always have. She's an EIA, elder in action. On the life and death subject of war, she's willing to talk and use all the mental faculties she has left--which are quite a lot.
In her lifetime, Mom has seen the Great War, the Bolshevik Revolution, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, a bunch of Middle East Wars, the Cold War, the Iran-Iraq War, civil war in Yugoslavia, the First Gulf War, civil wars in Lebanon, the Chechen War, the Iraq War, nearly endless war in Afghanistan--and a pile of "ethnic cleansing" genocial wars in places like Cambodia, Rwanda and Kosovo.
Then, of course, there are the 11,000,000 human beings exterminated by our own ethnic blood brothers and sisters. (6 million were Jews; 5 million more were not.)
That's just the short list.

Mom stands in sharp contrast to a horrifyingly large number of Americans with far fewer years, far more energy, far more information and far fewer limitations but who are strangely MIA, missing in action, when it comes to talking and thinking and doing something about war.

Unwilling to volunteer for service, unwilling to buy war bonds and pay a tax surcharge, unwilling to send their own into harm's way, too many Americans are also unwilling to use their minds, their voices and their words--their practically unlimited opportunities--to think or talk about this war. These wars...
Oh, and what about using their faith? What about working feverishly to prevent war?

Too many are MIA, and I'm sad about that. That's not making very good use of the so-called freedoms which our so-called appreciation for veterans claims we are undyingly grateful for.

Freedom to be silent is what not what they fought for. Freedom to be inert is not what they served and died for. Freedom to be uninvolved is not what we live for. It's not why I gave four years of my life.

Let's give up being MIA, missing in action. Let's come home. Let's become CIA, citizens in action.

Afraid to start talking and listening?

"Every time I start talking politics, it simply leads to a blow-up and friends storm off in anger," you say?

Who said anything about talking politics? The subject is war, not politics. War has us by the throat, so we kinda sorta oughtta talk it out and talk it through. Isn't that what the Constitution we swore we would preserve, protect and defend requires of us?

Fear of possible verbal conflict is never an excuse. Not when violent conflict that sheds blood, ends lives and engulfs a nation's future well-being is done in our names.

Here's a helpful hint. Don't begin the conversation with any of the following:

"The Democrats..."

"The Republicans..."


"Bush and Cheney..."

Use this starting point instead: "Christ calls me to..."

Yeah, He does. As in "Blessed are the......."

Something about peacemakers in there. Yeah, those guys. And Moms.

I'm inspired by one little EIA, an elder in action: my Mom.

Pray for Mom, our country and one another. And end this pall of silence. Make peace, for God's sake. It's war.

Thank you. Amen.


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