Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pray for Our Soldiers...and...

I hear it on the radio. I hear it in church. I read it on bumper stickers. "Pray for our soldiers."

Nothing wrong with that. It's good to pray. My friend's husband is "over there." She's caring for their three kids alone. I definitely don't want anything to happen to him, so I'm glad we pray.

But you know what's missing in such requests, don't you? Yeah--the reminder of our Lord's command to love our enemies.

Recently I was struck anew by the fact that God sent Jonah to Nineveh, which being interpreted was Babylon, which being interpreted was the heart of Iraq. Jonah resented (more like got royally torqued) that God offered his enemies a chance to repent. And they did repent, so God didn't do lightning. Woo-eeee. That did not go over well with the angry Jonah-man.

The year I decorated the card you see here, the U.S. invaded both Afghanistan and Iraq. Those places are under His mercies, and not just because Jonah and Daniel did short stints there. From the desert to the iceberg continent, God's mercies are over all his works.

Okay, so that explains Babylon and Iraq and Afghanistan and even Antarctica. But Italian? Well, a prof in my PhD program was initially negative about my being a Christian, though she softened as the semester went by. Anyway, her speciality was/is Italian.

And she's under the mercies.

So am I. Romans says I used to be God's enemy, too.

So let's pray for our troops. But let's also pray for their troops. We need to pray the same for both: that they might all be translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of His Beloved Son--the One who loves His enemies.


Heather said...

Sometimes I think we're too busy throwing our temper tantrums about a withered tree to care about the people God cares about (which narrows the group down to everyone).

Mirtika said...

Even before we went to war, I've been praying for Muslims and the folks in the oh-so-troubled Middle East. Once we went to war, I prayed even more fervently. I tend to pray along the "please protect the innocent from bullets, fire and bombs, and open the eyes of the enemy to see a way towards a peaceful resolution." I also pray for the conversion of Muslims to Christ and for Christians in the war zones to be protected from harm. The church there has had a bad, bad time of it.

I've never prayed for our soldiers or the Iraqi Army that I have not also prayed for those caught in the crossfire, and for those bombing and beheading, that they see the light toward a less hateful path.

And for wisdom for our leaders--military and political. What they decide affects us all, here and there.