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.