Monday, December 7, 2015

Advent with the VA

We have entered an "in sickness" time of our marriage and are working toward new health. Jamie went into the VA early the Monday morning after Christ the King Sunday. My Advent began with what has become my new regular routine, going to work, taking care of the animals, trying to keep the house in order, and visiting Jamie at the VA. He went in because his meds weren't working anymore and his depression and PTSD were getting too hard to handle.He has begun the process of rebirth as we wait for a new birth of the Messiah into our lives and the world.

Jamie has begun an 8 week inpatient program to help him with his struggle. Most nights you can find me at the VA with him, playing cards and talking with the guys. My Advent experience is changed by his journey. And as I sit at the VA, with veterans who are both brave and broken, strong and weak, working through those things which hold them back in the world, I find the call of the Prince of Peace. My soul becomes reckless with the call for peace. The words of the hymn, "Comfort, Comfort Ye My People" ring out in my soul:

"Comfort, comfort ye My people,
Speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
Comfort those who sit in darkness,
Mourning ’neath their sorrow’s load;
Speak ye to Jerusalem
Of the peace that waits for them;
Tell her that her sins I cover,
And her warfare now is over."

And I wonder when our warfare with each other will end. Because you can't leave the VA without feeling 
both profoundly honored to be with those who risked their lives for their country and profoundly 
saddened that many are still at war, not in another country, but in their very beings. Their life paths have 
been forever altered by the actions of our government. They carry new diagnoses and conditions because of 
where they were sent and what they did. And I wonder how we speak peace to the veteran's soul? What is the
best way to comfort these, God's people, mourning 'neath their sorrow's load? When is their warfare over?

The next time those in the government call for war, I invite you into the halls of the VA.
Watch, listen. Ask if we have to go to war or if there is another way.
And hear God's call, "Comfort, Comfort Ye My People."

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