“More than 1,500 Americans have lost a leg or arm in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan, and hundreds have suffered the amputation of multiple limbs” Huffington Post.com 2012.
“As in every war, the wounded are far more numerous than those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. As with the dead in these wars, United States forces have suffered grievously . . . Common combat injuries have included second and third degree burns, broken bones, shrapnel wounds, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, nerve damage, paralysis, loss of sight and hearing, post traumatic stress disorder, and amputations.
The true count of Americans injured or sickened in the war is much larger – by orders of magnitude – than the figures given on the official Department of Defense casualty website. That official total – over 52,000 [970,000] – includes only those ‘wounded in action.’ Not included are those suffering what are categorized as ‘non-hostile injuries’ and other medical problems, which include heat stroke, suicide attempts, respiratory problems, and vehicle crashes” Cost of War.org 2014.
Where are your scars?
WE ARE IN A WAR . . .
Not of this world, but a spiritual battle: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” Ephesians 6:10-12 ESV. Yet, is not our fight more important than any physical war? I do not say this to shame or dishonor those brave men and women who fight for our country, and I honor them . . . but on the scale of eternity, is not our fight more crucial?
Our battle is for the soul. Wars, will come and go—but the soul, is eternal. And where will it live for eternity?
Are we not all guilty of being wrapped up in the physical? How much time do we spend dwelling on the spiritual?
. . . I repeat, where are your scars? In physical war, in fights, there is loss of limb, burns, broken bones, torn muscles, deformity, paralyzation . . . our war is more important, yet how serious do we take it? We put women and children on the front lines [as we should] . . . but would you put a child on a battlefield in Iraq? How well equipped are our children? Are they prepared for the wounds to come? Or do we treat this, religion, just as a church attendance, another Sunday school class. A practice for a sermon one day a week, our minds more desiring the potluck to come next. . . .
Who joins the military, without the expectation of sacrifice? Yet, we as Christians, try to play it safe? We feel protected, trapped in a false cradle of security, while our enemies blasts us with their cannons, their “flaming darts”: “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul” I Peter 2:11 ESV.
Where are your scars?
Have you bled for our Lord? Have your feelings been trampled on? your heart broken? Has your pride been tainted? your generosity been taken advantage of? Have you been spat on? cursed at? How much money have you lost? Have you been robbed from the stranger whom you shared your roof?
Where are your paper cuts from flipping through the Bible? How many tears are still stored in your tear ducts? How many grenades have you dodged, or taken as a substitute for your comrades? How many bullets have you felt? How much shrapnel is in your skin? Are your dreams haunted? How many . . . how . . . how many friends brothers or sisters have you seen fall, fighting a good fight?
. . . Christianity is not a game, it is a battle, a war for the souls of men. And it is time that we treat it as such. Brothers and sisters, I’m calling us out, me as well. It is time to be willing to sacrifice. Everything, if be so, even if that be one’s own life. . . . It is time, to embrace risk. Yes, it will hurt, yes it will hurt, YES, it will hurt—but I ask you again—
WHERE ARE YOUR SCARS?