Mar 23, 2017

Soldier of Life

by Larry Houghton

Today I was forced to look at life and how fragile all of us are. I really believe that all of us are the walking wounded.

My mind drifted to one of those old World War II scenes, where these soldiers are walking down the streets of some foreign town limping and supporting the man next to them who is struggling to walk on his own.

You can see the exhaustion on each of their faces. All of them are bloody with bandages covering wounds both minor and life threatening. The strongest of these men are carrying the stretchers that bear the empty shells of the least of us.

Sometimes we are fortunate enough to look upon this scene as an observer. Other times we discover our viewpoint is from the ranks of the wounded or the least desirable position of all, the view from the stretcher.

Today I discovered that I was emotionally limping. The injury went far deeper than I had originally thought. I knew that I was not walking as fast as the others around me, yet I pretended that all was well. The simplest of tasks has become an effort.

I don’t believe any of us pass through this battle of life without wounds that leave scars that run to our very core.  

So why is it that we avoid or leave behind the weakest among us. Is it because we feel we can’t be burdened with the clumsiness of bearing a wounded companion?

Quiet times are the worst because it gives my mind time to remember the fallen that I have stepped on or left behind in my self-gratifying wake. I ponder the heroes of war. The ones who do not think of their own pain, or loss, and scoop up the injured and dying. The people who set aside their own desires and they walk a little slower to assist or even carry the wounded and weary.

Eventually, I attempt to grasp the heroic act that Jesus acted out. Of voluntarily laying it all down to end the war. Knowing that one act of suffering could stop the barbaric meaningless slaughter of war. 

Jesus stepped into flesh and took the bullet for mankind.

This is what Christ did. Because of his act of mercy and love, I can draw strength from knowing he has fought this war that I am fighting. I now realize I must be diligent and run to the wounded to help them.

I now realize that the goal isn’t to be alive at the end of this battle. The goal is to be exhausted, burned up, burned out from the battle with nothing left but an inner peace and a voice that says “Well done my good and faithful servant". 

God Bless

© 2017 Larry Houghton Used With Permission

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