1/31/08

The Death of a Soldier

While the war on terror has been happening half-way around the world, I’ve been cozily sipping my grande 2 pump vanilla, 2 pump Almond, no water chai following the political battle here at home. Late last night I caught the news that Monday, a soldier that I knew died in combat. I knew Sergeant James Craig, he and I were the same age. We met in late 2004 / early 2005 when he joined our small group. James was a simple man that loved his motorcycle and the Lord. He had the innocence of continually falling in love with God on a daily basis. His light shined so brightly, that there was no-one around him that wasn’t affected by it. This is truth; this isn’t me remembering the best of him. This was the first time I tasted the bitterness of war, it had always seemed so distant and I had felt largely disconnected from the whole thing. I would here the reports on Television and think nothing of them…they were just numbers and statistics. But today, I here the reports and think that was someone’s son, that was someone’s husband, someone’s dad, someone’s brother, they meant something to someone. In America, the death of the soldier often times goes quietly and softly like a small gust of wind stiffening an American flag to attention. It’s barely noticeable, only lasts but for a moment, and is instantaneously gone. When a soldier dies in combat, their life was given for freedom, a concept that some of us don’t fully comprehend. Freedom comes at a price, often times death…but death is pursued by life. Jesus gave His life so that we might have freedom the cost of which was His death. A life may be freely given, but there is always a cost. Freedom is the concept of the mythical phoenix, in order for re-birth it first must die; the old must perish in order for the new to emerge. The death of James, was the cost of freedom in Iraq, it came at the cost of his life, it came too soon, but it came nonetheless. How much is a life worth? What type of a ransom would the Founding Father’s have given for freedom? What type of a ransom did God give for freedom? The answer is the sacrifice of a life. It is the only ransom that can be given to obtain freedom. There is no other route, no safe passage, no candy cane lane. The death of a soldier is the ransom given for freedom, at home or half a world away. Freedom is bittersweet as sacrifice can only be.

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