I’ve often wondered about my dad I never knew, over the years. Then later on coming to UK and watching all the Remembrance Day commemorations on the telly, I wondered what it was like for him during World War Two.
Did he and all the others think of their death at all. Did they cry out to God in their moments of despair and fear, did pain and suffering cause them to search their hearts for help from Him?
Some months ago during lockdown I read an article in a U3A magazine, by a woman who’d found a letter from a family member who’d been in the war as well and who’d visited a place called Talbot House in Poperinge, Belgium. A Chaplain had created a small chapel in the attic, where thousands of soldiers attended services, were baptised and took communion. After the Great War. It was no doubt a peaceful refuge for many.
I was greatly encouraged to have read about it. Perhaps there were many other retreats all over the world, for soldiers to have come to faith in their last hours, or in their hour of need. Faith comes by hearing, and its comforting to know there were those who were available to speak to them about Christ, and the joy of eternity with Him.
My father did come back but wasn’t taken care of. I wrote a little article for a local paper one Remembrance week-end – several years ago now:
Have we remembered them?
We have eyes like cameras that capture images and send them to our brain from the moment we open them in the morning; how precious they are and needful of protection. The bible warns us of not letting our eyes look at futile things. Yet our lives are bombarded with unwholesome things, bad news and things we might not choose to see and hear, perhaps too late to filter out the good from the bad as it’s in your face.
I can’t look at anything violent and then go to sleep.
What fortitude was shown by those who fought in the world wars, the horrific acts thrust on them daily went on for years. I can only speak of what I know. My grandfather, uncles and my father – lived broken lives thereafter. Dad lost his parents within six weeks of each other before he went to fight for the commonwealth. He never smoked nor drank then – but sadly ended up addicted to both for most of his shortened life. His marriage fell apart too as Mom – I suspect like the rest of the world was unprepared for dealing with wounded souls. That’s just one family.
I never fought in any physical war but looking back over my life; un-dealt with battles of Daddy’s mind fought on.
Abnormal use of drugs, alcohol, nicotine, various cravings; is all abuse – and it’s still raking in billions for the industries because people used it to forget – whilst their countries failed to remember them.
Jesus took on every pain and heartache known to man and nailed it…..to the cross, and rose victorious above it all.
We can honour them every day by reaching out to all who are still suffering the spoils of war.
Praise be to God.