Why we're here...

Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

We're honored to be a member of the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association...click on their logo to visit them.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

#BlogBattle - A Dream of Peace

A couple of days late due to illness, but here's this week's contribution to Rachael Ritchey's #BlogBattle...the keyword this week is DREAM.

We're also linking to Mom's Morning Coffee.

A Dream of Peace

There was a fire mission going out of the Rockpile, and the eastern horizon was limned with flickering white light. The shells arced east, red dots climbing to a fatal zenith, then dropping to disappear into the gloom. The guns' voice was a distant, muted mutter.

"Whaddaya think? A real mission, or just H&I?" I was sitting on the turret roof, the steel still warm from the day.

The Dude had radio watch, and he was sitting on the edge of the loader's hatch, the tank helmet askew on his head, so he could hear the radio and carry on a conversation with me at the same time. It didn't look comfortable. "It's a real mission. Just came over the net. Mr. Charles was trying to sneak out of the Z in force. Company plus."

"Well, he sure picked the wrong playmates." The Rockpile was banging away with their 155s, and if they had the grid square right, not a lot would be left living. They were good at their job.

"Yeah." The Dude pressed the earpiece tighter, listening. "Con Thien's joining in. Looks like they're really dropping the hammer."

I wondered who was out there, with eyes on, giving the gunners the target. Whoever he was, he had to be brave, and lonely, and by now slightly deaf. "Gotta love those recon Marines, and gotta be glad we don't have their job."

"Yeah." The Dude shifted the helmet, trying to make it more comfortable. "It's a friend of mine, actually."


"I was playing with the presets...sorry, TC, I was bored. Gotthe arty net, and recognized his voice. We were in seminary together."

"Wow, what a...wait, what? Seminary? Like, studying to be a priest?"

The Dude nodded. "Yeah. Bit of a change for him, killing people with a radio."

"I'll say." I didn't really care about The Dude's friend. I was trying come with this new vision of our driver, and it just wasn't working. "Didn'y you guys have deferments? I mean, both student and clergy, or something?"

"Sure. Student, not clergy. We weren't ordained. We volunteered. We both wanted to go recon, but the Corps decided I had armor in my blood."

Wow. "Dude, I get it, but I don't get it. I mean, why? You didn't have to be here in the first place...and you keep extending. Your mom drop you on your head or something, when you were a kid?"

He laughed. "Can you believe I like it here?"


"Well, maybe let me put it another way, TC. I find meaning here."

And he had never tried weed. I shook my head. "Beaucoup dien cai dau, Maline."

"Crazy? I think I found sanity here. Back in the World, I might have left the seminary...I couldn't square my head with all that stuff, original sin and atonement and everything. It was beginning to seem made up, just too convoluted and weird to be true. But we're here...and original sin is all around us."

He had a point, as we watched the flashing horizon, and thought of the NVA under the shells, soldiers whose place in the killing game was coming to an end as we watched.

He went on."And so's atonement, writ small. TC, you know why I learned Vietnamese?"

"I was going to say that you learned it to pick up women, but I'm betting that's not it."

"Well, partly...helluva a thing for a future priest to admit, eh? But no, mainly it was to find out how these people feel about us, about the war, about what we're doing to their country."


"And they're amazed that rich people who need nothing would come here to save them from their own brothers. That we are willing to die for them."

That was the first time I had ever heard that analysis. It gave me an odd feeling in my chest. Kind of like my heart was melting. Someone cared.

"The French walked out, the UN ran in circles, but we're here. We're in the mud with them. They feel like they should have headed off this war, but we're here, atoning for their sins. In their place. That's why I'm extending, and that's why, when all this is over, I'm going back to the seminary."

I had caught the 'future priest' bit. "You'll bring a lot to some LA parish...or maybe Vegas?"

The joke fell flat. "No, I'll be finishing up here, get ordained here. It's all set up. I'll be separated from the service at the embassy, when all the fighting's done, and hit the books the next day."

"Good thing you know Vietnamese."

"Yeah, but the language of instruction's French."

"I get it...I mean, I think I get it, that you found God in Viet Nam..."

"He found me, more like."

"Whatever. But you're going to spend the rest of your life here? I mean, you've got a family back in the World, right?" He had talked about his mom, once. The mom who made nuoc mam, the Vietnamese...uh, delicacy.

"Sure. I'll go visit them, from time to time. But this is my place, TC."

"OK, I know you're dying for me to ask...so I'll ask. Why?"

The fire mission ended, and the last gunflashes died away. Their final rumble reached us a few seconds later, and there was, for the moment, peace.

"It's simple, TC. We've showed them that we're willing to die for them. Now we have to show them that we'll live for them, too."


  1. "They feel like they should have headed off this war, but we're here, atoning for their sins. In their place."
    Well said, The Dude!

  2. I like the sentiment is this one. Especially the last line.

    1. Thank you so much for that. The message, in this one, means a lot to me personally.

  3. Living for someone is a whole lot harder than dying for them!

    1. Indeed it is!

      Thank you for being here today, Paul. I always look forward to your visits.

  4. That was great, especially the last line. Threading out of the story, the truth of that statement is something many of the faith have either forgotten or never learned in the first place, how to show others how to live. (I know he said 'live for them.')

    1. Thank you, Candice...I think you're absolutely right. Sometimes I think we forget because it's a scary responsibility.

  5. I loved this line:

    "He found me, more like."

    I can think of times when I was struggling with things, and felt so far away from God. And yet, He always found a way to show me that He was still there, that He still cared, and that He was still in control of all the crummy circumstances in life.

    What else do I need?