2015 The Year of Rest for Wounded Warriors!
In the Hebrew language the number 15 is a Biblical picture of rest. Many Warriors (both physical and spiritual) have endured their share of challenges as we departed 2014! But we are rejoicing as we enter a time of rest! (Hebrew 4:9). This will be a year of “Sweatless Victories!” Those things we have been trying to attain by our own strength will be released to us by the Spirit of the Lord. (Zechariah 4:6)
A Clarion Cry to Places of Worship to
be Sensitive to Military Warriors!
Many Military members are suffering in silence yet can’t experience peace in some places of worship. I faced a lot of mental challenges during 2014 due to my experiences in combat (Iraq, 2008). Allow me to paint a picture for you…living in an environment where there is bombing day in and out, intense darkness accompanied by the sound of rapid gun fire, loud missile flares, and mortar rounds flying over your head. A midnight sky is lit up like high noon when all of the instruments of war collide in your ears.
All we want is to return home and enjoy the safety of our family and loved ones! Upon returning home we find what was once “normal” is in some cases no longer true. Especially as it relates to the environment of some places of worship. Many Warriors ARE NOT COMFORTABLE WORSHIPING IN THE DARK! I understand technology and have nothing against it. However, it may take an entire worship service for some Veterans to get a grip on their mind and convince themselves that they are no longer in combat zone (physically). By the time service is over some Veterans don’t remember the Word that was preached, thus feeling a great void. Many (Veterans) have left the church because they are not mentally ready to go to a ‘combat zone” weekly… that others call a place of worship! How many Veterans no longer attend your church? Do you know where they are? Have you spoken with them since they have returned from serving? Have you asked them if anything during the worship experience makes them uncomfortable? Combat is not an experience you push out of your mind as though it never happened!
The Church’s Consideration
It would be a good gesture to check with your Veterans to make sure they are comfortable. If the lights have to be out during worship CONSIDER having a special lighted seating area for Veterans to have a choice! Children, deaf congregants, guest soloist, guest speakers, First Ladies, First Families, as well as all kinds of “Titled” Presbyteries have arranged seating. What about the Warrior?
Chief Warrant Officer Four (Ret)