Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What our soldiers pray for


"However, back to my original point. Our chapel is (probably deliberately) the exact opposite of this. It’s a trailer placed apart from the Palace as a whole, hardened and blast-wall shielded. I suppose that if it were to announce its presence in all the typical “churchy” ways (steeple, stained glass, bells, etc.), it would just be ASKING to be a target . . .

So you go into this nondescript space, and everyone is crammed in at odd angles into uncomfortable folding chairs. Others have commented on how odd it is that everyone in there is carrying a weapon into church–I don’t even think about it, due to my rather odd tendency of forgetting that I’m wearing a weapon. I think of it as a nuisance addition to my uniform, because it perpetually swings down into my way and clunks into things. So having the nuisance addition to my uniform in church just means that it clunks into things when I’m kneeling and standing up, which is pretty much what it does as I move around in the office.

As the service proceeds, you can hear helicopters overhead, which is very odd. Sometimes they’re loud enough that everyone has to pause and wait for them to clear out of the area before proceeding. And you can hear the odd bang or boom from outside, though so far there hasn’t been anything too remarkable during my times in there.

What really struck me both times in the service, though, was that we took time in the petitions to pray for all the families and loved ones that we’ve left behind at home–that God will keep them safe and protect them. It just was an interesting thought, because back home, all those people are praying for the safety of the troops–and here we are praying for them. It’s like this overarching network of prayers for each other that embraces the globe . . . it’s cool! I saw that very clearly both times I was in there. Additionally, in our petitions we pray for our enemies here, that they’ll change their minds and want to work with us peacefully, and that their hearts will be changed to enable the furtherance of peace. Isn’t that a strange thing to think of–all these various warriors there praying that their job will become unnecessary? It struck me yesterday . . ."

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