After spending a wonderful Christmas morning with my family, I got around to reading my friend's blog. I hadn't been by in a while, and when I ran across the post linked here, I teared up. Fallen soldiers are tragic enough, but when casualities are personified beyond the dreary statistics of a headline, the emotional impact is always heavier.
Our military has suffered nearly 3,000 deaths. On an intellectual level, I understand that dying is an occupational hazard one assumes upon choosing to be a soldier. But that doesn't make stories like the one above any less heartbreaking.
Of course, I want this heartbreak to weigh upon the men who started this war with the same totality as the families of every person killed in battle. And maybe it does. Maybe I'm just sad, angry and presumptuous. Maybe I'm making unfair assumptions about our leaders. After all, what do I know about sacrifice, railing at them from the safety of a suburban home? What do I know about the pressures and guilt of running a country in time of war? How dare I presume to know the heart of men who send others to give their lives for their country? Well, President Bush, I guess I have to give you a pass, because I can't read your mind or hear your heart. But God can. I hope you and He are cool about all this.
And what of that, anyway? Given Bush's public proclamations of faith, I wonder what it is that he and God are actually talking about every morning. I hope he isn't asking for wisdom, because if he is, God doesn't seem to be listening. When I started this post, I was filled with righteous indignation, excited at the prospect of declaring "fuck you, President Bush" in big, bolded, angry capital letters. Now I am just sad and even a little frightened. If the President, whose faith is apparently embedded in his character, can't get an open channel, what hope have we who have lapsed into cynicism and doubt?
Maybe he isn't asking God for wisdom. Maybe he's asking for, I dunno, catfish filets or a cure for hiccups or something. I kinda hope that's the case, because I still like to think that God is a pragmatic being. I expect to get denied when I pray for two aces on a split pair of tens. However, wisdom in times of crisis is a very reasonable request, and I don't think God should be silent when His children come looking for some. I can handle it if this disastrous war is a function of Bush's praying for the wrong things. I am ill at ease, however, if he is praying for an end and God is saying no.
Then again, maybe God is counciling President Bush on the direction of the war. If that's the case, then the universe is way more existential than I am comfortable with.
Sorry to bum anybody out. Appreciate the moments with your family and friends, for God doesn't have a rhyme or reason that makes any sense. Life may turn according to His plan, but that doesn't make it any easier.