this post is about the dude in the middle - the one holding a gun and smiling

I'll be honest with you all: I don't know how to feel about war. 

As a Christian, I have a hard time and end up asking myself, truly, "what would Jesus do?" Because I can think of no reason He would have ever condoned war. Because He loved even His enemies. 

It hurts my heart to know it exists at all, and I sometimes can't believe we live in a world where something so horrible is an everyday occurrence in so many places, on so many fronts. 

There was a time in high school when the war was still young, and I remember very clearly when I told a friend I would never enlist to fight. He called me "anti-American". I told him that wasn't the case at all - quite the contrary. I am extremely proud to be an American. But for my own reasons, I simply couldn't. I don't want to hurt anyone, ever. And quite frankly, it scares the hell out of me.

Naive? Maybe. But I know war is a "necessary evil" because I'm aware of how the world unfortunately works.

 But let me make something intensely clear:

I support our troops. 

With all my heart. With all I have. Because they are facing something I could not. 

They have my respect; a respect I cannot find the words for. 

So do their families - the wives and children and parents - who deserve just as much prayer and praise for their bravery (Jodi, Martha, Kate, Amanda - I'm looking at all of you!)

And while there are men and women who have made terribly unfortunate decisions while in uniform in the past, I refuse to hold an entire group of people accountable for the actions of a few (I'm looking hard at anyone who decides all people of a given religious group are the same as the radicals who make headlines, or anyone who persecutes someone of a certain race or sexuality based on a common stereotype fueled by ignorance). 

If you watch the documentary "We Stand Alone Together" about the real life men of "Band Of Brothers", one of the men of Easy Company talks about how he realized not all Germans were simply "enemies". How when interacting with someone he knew only as a Nazi, he was handed a prayer book. He realized this was just another good Catholic boy. Another said how, had they not met in the middle of WWII, a German soldier might have liked fishing. Liked hunting. Might have been his friend. 

I cried like a baby. 


All that being said, I have been leading up to something...

 I would like to extend a request to all of you to once again keep a friend in your prayers and in your hearts. 

My friend Nathan is deploying to Afghanistan today.  

I met him about two years ago when he was sixteen (maybe seventeen?) years old - and now he is a man. A soldier getting ready to face something seemingly insurmountable. 

But no. Not for him. He is trained, he is prepared and he is a soldier. 

Safe to say, everyone is marveling at his bravery. A lot of people love this guy. 

He is Jared's younger brother Dakota's best friend. Their younger sister Terra's long-time boyfriend. And to me, he will always be the guy with a huge smile who practically goes catatonic when I make "Portland Grilled Cheese" (sourdough bread, Tillamook cheddar, thick cut bacon, Claussen dill pickles and peanut butter - I don't blame him). 


So please, no matter where you stand on the matter of the war, if you get the chance, 

send a prayer, a happy thought, some good juju out for Nathan. 

Pray that he stays safe over there. 

And when he gets home, it will be very sucky!


  1. He is in our prayers. Such a scary time when they deploy. I will pray that it passes quickly and peacefully!