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September 11, 2014


This picture was taken in April of 2005. I was on a pastoral visit to Mazar-E Sharif in NW Afghanistan. In addition to a small compound of US Army personnel, there was a hospital run by the Jordanian Defense Forces and Coalition Force camps surrounded it. After enjoying the hospitality of the Jordanian Hospital Commander (who took a break in between surgeries to have tea with me and the Army Chaplain Assistant I was traveling with) we toured the hospital area.  I was amazed and humbled at the hard work and dedication of these healers in the midst of a war-ravaged & desperately poor country. Mainly women and children, but also some men, came to this hospital seeking rudimentary care and even surgeries. Some wounds were the result of landmines and other horrors of war that indiscriminately kill anyone. It was a humbling time for this Padre as I witnessed both war’s destructive capability and humankind’s resilience and compassion.

 Whether it is in Ebola ravaged Liberia, wartorn Syria and Iraq, famine struck Ethiopia, or so many other places in this world; warfare, hatred and violence against those who are different can and does overwhelm. Sadly, in the Middle East this continues today. And while plans are made for war, we are also called to respond with humanitarian aid and prayer. Yes, I remember 9-11-01. It is a date that will be forever etched in my memory. For me, it has become not so much a time to react with anger as it is a time to mourn, pray, and seek peace. There are no easy answers… It is quite complex and complicated… Cultures we neither understand nor control…

But I hold on to hope… The hope is seen in the faces of the little children who play and laugh even in the midst of destroyed villages and towns… The hope is seen in the faces and voices of mothers who are quietly saying enough!

So as our national and international leaders prepare for war, I pray for wisdom and discernment for them. I pray for a change of heart in those who are intent on destroying. And in my heart of hearts, I continue to hold onto the hope of Isaiah that one day nation will not lift up sword against nation, that swords will be beaten into plowshare sand spears into pruning hooks, and that we will study war no more… From our lips to God’s ear… Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer…

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  1. Thank you for being a pastor to those who needed you then and those like me who need you now. God bless you. And I will continue to hold onto that hope with you.

  2. Dianne permalink


  3. Love this…thank you Padre!!

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