Saturday, March 29, 2008

When They Don't Call Home

Reading in between the newspaper headlines, I put two and two together and I know why I haven't heard his voice lately. I need no explanation. I don't like to actually talk about "it" with him--where he is, what is happening there. I don't ever tell him that I heard about the surge of rocket attacks in Location X, or that I "get" the significance of activity in Location Y. When I hear those things, I know that the probabilities of his safety are being recalibrated with different numbers. I deduce from the shift of the political winds, that there will be changes in his world over there that will possibly trickle down into mine. Even though I still keep my phone close like I did in the beginning, I know not to expect any calls.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Faces of War

Having a longtime interest in military history, I've developed an interest in combat photography. I have a small collection of old photographs and of course, have an appreciation for how closely I can 'see' the war from the comfort of my home computer. When there's a situation "over there," we can see both pictures of it online almost instantaneously. Yet there are so many faces of this war that people will never see.

My friend Andrea's little boy has taken to sleeping with this soft family photo album that contains pictures of his deployed daddy. She's found him sitting there more than once, calmly fingering the pictures of him and his dad. He smiles, he plays with it, he likes to sleep with it.

Sometimes when I feel sad, I think about the way other families are sharing in this experience. I think about what it must be like to be Andrea, walking into a dark room to check on your son and experienceing the bittersweet moment of finding that he's sitting there with his little book, giggling at pictures of him and his dad.
I want to know what this little boy is thinking and I want to know the secret of the peaceful knowing I see in his little face. Where can I get some of that? I can't help but wonder if this what God's love looks like in a baby's life.
Where is God in the middle of a war? The evidence of divine grace in war time seperation can be so very subtle, but it's what I see a reflection of in this picture. A silver lining to a dark cloud in a sky of many dark clouds.
If you only look at the clouds, that is all you'll ever see. Sometimes you have to look at their edges to find what you are supposed to see.