I have to keep my eyes open, every minute, every second. I also have to listen for the fall of footsteps, foreign voices shouting in rapid-fire Arabic, and make sure we don't get caught by surprise.
I am serving in Iraq. I'm in the army. I'm a chaplain. Sometimes I think my job is the hardest of all because I'm the one who has to bury the dead and try to comfort/support those who have been injured or traumatized by the hell of war.
War is not pretty. I have seen men, women, even children and babies killed ... and the enemy doesn't even care. They'll take out as many people with them to carry out their sick agenda, using violence as a means of trying to get their twisted point across.
Disease runs rampant in the refugee camps. People are starving or dying of diseases like malaria, dysentry, any number of communicable diseases; even the threat of bubonic plague, typhus, typhoid, and cholera loom in the air and over our heads.
It is a scary situation to be in . I wouldn't wish this on my own worst enemy, even those of whom we are fighting against.
While I don't handle the weaponry as much, I still fight an ongoing battle: the winning of souls for the Lord Jesus Christ. My weapon I carry in my hand: my Holy Bible. Sometimes I think that is the most powerful weapon of all because God can change things when you least expect it.
It still isn't easy when I hold a bloody and injured child or cradle a mortally wounded soldier's head in my lap as I offer my prayers to The Holy One, asking, beseeching Him to help the wounded and to comfort them in their great time of need, or, if they're dying, to show mercy upon their souls and let them come to the Heavenly Kingdom, where they would be with God, His Son, Jesus, and all the angels for all eternity.
The main reason I joined the army in the first place is because it runs in my family heritage: my dad, several of my uncles, several cousins, a nephew, and one of my best friends served. I appreciated the sacrifices they made so I could live in absolute freedom from tyranny; it really touched me to hear their war stories, so I decided to follow suit: carry on the family tradition, as they say.
Only what I wanted to do was become a chaplain, which is exactly what I did. I didn't have the heart to kill; I wanted to show compassion and love, just as Jesus did (and does). I love my job, don't get me wrong; but I sure hate being threatened because of my Christian beliefs and having to deal with things like death, fear, and worry on a constant, ongoing basis!
One slip, and I would be gone. This is why I have been trained to keep my mind, eyes, and ears open, so I don't become one of the ever growing statistics of the dead and wounded.
It never ends. It never ends!! God, have mercy upon me, and God, have mercy upon those who kill, as well as those who I am ministering to! In Jesus' mighty, holy Name, I pray, Amen and AMEN!!