Preemptive Love Coalition Part Two: Where I Tell You My Heart’s Cry. | The Grace Between

Preemptive Love Coalition Part Two: Where I Tell You My Heart’s Cry.

For part one of this story, CLICK HERE. 

(Portions of this are republished from a piece I wrote in 2012 before the presidential election. Two years removed, my emotions are unchanged.)

My great-great-great grandfather was a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. Recently, a stack of letters written by him to his family was found in a dusty attic in North Carolina.

In his last letter, thought to be written to his parents and penned six days prior to the end of the War, he wrote the following:

“I can hardly keep from shedding tears to think of giving up this plot of country after having defended it so long. So much blood has been shed in defending it. Our country is in deep mourning for the blood shed round this city. Is it all in vain?”

I have a visceral connection to the written word. To see these words scribbled hastily by moonlight in the mud and the rain by a man whose blood mixes in my veins.  I was undone.

Because I ask the same question, weary of these present wars. Tears stream down my cheeks and I search in vain for an answer I don’t know. It’s easy to look down the long corridors of history and pick a side. Please know, I won’t argue the morality or justice of the current conflict here.

I’ll tell you what I do know.

Here, and now, we are committed. But truly, I take heart knowing that the Husband, a medevac pilot flying wounded warriors, carrying friend and enemy alike, serves in a capacity to save lives.  That is comfort on ugly days. It is necessary in war to have such men serve.

{I have some amazing photos to share but I must get permission first!)

I know that God directs our paths and the plans He has for us include good, not evil, and above all, hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

I know His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).

I believe wholeheartedly that we have been obedient to the Lord in serving this country with honor.  And even on days when our beloved country doesn’t seem very honorable, we take heart in serving a Heavenly Kingdom, His life and death at work in us, our hope in things unseen (2 Corinthians 4).

And so, I kiss the Husband long, squeeze his hand a little harder in church, wash his uniforms with care, update our wills, say quiet goodbyes, and live each moment knowing His grace is sufficient, shoring up my weary heart.

I retreat to the Word of truth and take comfort in the Sovereignty of God.

Major Sullivan Ballou wrote a now famous final farewell letter to his wife Sarah a week before he died at the Battle of Bull Run. A portion of the letter reads,

“I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing—perfectly willing—to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt . . . ” (pbs.org).

Yes, there are many days when I feel as though we strive in vain, but there is no contesting the debt we owe as citizens here.

And, when heaven and earth is laid before me, and I wrestle wearily with the things of men, my battered heart takes note of what my Heavenly citizenship entails.

“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God” (1 Peter 2:13-16). 

I set about to serve a Shepherd who loves us well and sends us into the world to care for the least among us, unbound by borders, language barriers, and cultural divides.  And our small lives living the truth of the gospel bind together in harmony, a heavenly chorus rising in concert to silence the ignorance of foolish men. 

And, oh, friends, the freedom of serving the Architect of the very Universe-the Namer and Counter of stars-means we don’t need to know how or where, or even when the quiet comes.

Two years or more. That’s when I first wrote this, that’s how long I have articulated my heart cry. How do we serve daily the Kingdom without borders in a way that honors my husband AND glorifies the King?

By doing good, you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. 

And here’s the thing … just so we are clear. The doing good, it doesn’t save us. 

Only the redemptive work of Christ’s life, death on the cross, and resurrection can do that. 

But you, all of you the partakers with me of grace, the gospel, it transforms us. We are called to be the light of the World.

And when I met the Courtneys, and spoke with Jessica; after ugly crying all over the sponsor table, I knew I had found a place for my online voice. 

Take a moment, and watch this video.

Threads in our story are woven through Iraq and its cities. Up until now, they have always been about us. About Pete leaving, about death, about loss. About war.

Let me be clear. I am not ashamed of those threads, and our stories, or the love we have for this country and how we chose to serve it. But they do not define us, and we have a chance to add new lines, of life, and hope, and peace.

Because truly, all the small stories together become our Story, and the hard parts change us. They carve into our souls making these new shapes, not better or worse, just new. And I wholeheartedly believe these disparate threads can be woven together to reflect just a little bit more of THE Story.

So you might hear more, here at my virtual kitchen table, about this team. About this country. About redemption. I get to tell new stories, stories about courage, not fear. 

If you would like to donate to Preemptive Love Coalition and the lifesaving work they do, CLICK HERE. If you have questions or concerns about the organization before donating, feel free to browse their website here, or email me and I will do my best to get you answers.

With all my heart.

~M.

 

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