1 For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
Yes, I have seen the movie Footloose more times than I could ever possibly count. And yes, I think I learned Ecclesiastes 3 from Kevin Bacon and not from actually reading my Bible. This blog-post is not about a time for dancing. It’s about a time for war.
Last night was date night. My dear hubby took me out for a late dinner and then to Tiffany’s Tavern on King St. in Old Town Alexandria. If you enjoy bluegrass and you’re in the DC area on a weekend, I highly recommend Tiffany’s. The people watching is priceless as is the endless playlist of lyrics from classic 70’s songs being sung to bluegrass tunes. We sat at Tiffany’s and talked about the future. In the middle of our retirement fantasies a large group of young Air Force airmen occupied the table next to us. I watched them. I listened to them. And I wondered about their families and their futures while trying really hard not to think about what could happen between now and the time my husband retires from the Army.
If you are lucky enough to be a part of my first conversation on any given day, you will likely hear about my dream from the night before. I’m a vivid dreamer. I often have dreams about other people’s futures and sometimes those dreams come true. I have a couple of way-too-vivid recurring dreams that make me more uncomfortable than I care to admit where I’m the main character. Last night I had a dream. A way-too-vivid dream that I really hope never shows up again or proves to be a vision.
I’m standing in my kitchen when the phone rings. I notice my husband’s office number on the caller ID as I hit the ‘talk’ button. He asks, “Are you sitting down?” I want to vomit. No uplifting conversation has ever started with those four words. I order him, “Tell me what is happening. Now.” I hear him take a deep breath and then pause before announcing, “I’m deploying to Libya. Tomorrow.” The tears began to spill from my eyes.
When I awoke I could not catch my breath. I hate it when that happens. When a dream is so real and vivid that it takes my breath away.
This isn’t such a crazy scenario. The last time I answered a call to those four words I was fighting cancer and my husband was on his way to Iraq (for the second time) ten days later.
This is the life we’ve chosen. My husband has served our country for more than twenty years. I have two brothers who have committed their lives to protecting and spreading freedom. I have a sister-in-law who retired after a long military career and I have another who serves on reserve duty. I have a son who has dreamed of going to the Air Force Academy since shortly after he learned to talk. We have countless friends and extended family who are currently serving in one military branch or another. And I still have a really hard time with that one specific verse of the Bible…. “A time for war and a time for peace.” I just want a little peace. Or at least I want it to be someone else’s turn for war.
I really don’t care what political party you affiliate yourself with or what your own personal convictions are about war. If you live in this country and you enjoy the freedoms of speech, religion, bearing arms, not worrying about illegal search and seizure of your property, fair trials, civil rights, voting or even the fact that there are term limits on the presidency, you have to acknowledge that many men and women have paid a price for you to enjoy those privileges. Today, less than one-half of one-percent of the American population is serving in our military. That’s disgusting. Period. An even more staggering statistic is that less than eight percent of the entire American population alive today has ever served in our military.
This might just be my first post that has no real point to it. I needed to vent. I am not happy that so many of the people I dearly love go to work every day awaiting the announcement of their next deployment. I am not happy that here, at a time when I really want to plan for what comes after my husband’s military career, I had a dream that totally threw me off track. I know that there is a time for war.
But, God. I’m war weary.