Pro Deo Et Patria- An Army Chaplain

I am a chaplain in the US Army, serving in Iraq. I'm keeping a blog to share my thoughts and experiences while deployed. They are my thoughts and they don't necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Army! :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What I think about

Today has been an emotionally draining day. We had five soldiers wounded by mortars while out helping respond to Iraqi casualties from a car bomb. We drove up and visited them at the CSH (Hospital) in the Green Zone. While there we presented them with Purple Hearts and spent time with them and prayed. We also visited with two of our Iraqi interpreters. In the room, I prayed with both of them as well. One of them had not heard that we lost a Soldier last week (that was my long day last week). When he heard, he cried. It was heartbreaking. The Iraqis we work with love and trust the Soldiers in my unit. They are part of the team. They dream of a free and safe Iraq.

While visiting with them, though, there was also a child in one of the hospital beds. He was no more than maybe 8 years old, but was about the size of my youngest son. He had been paralyzed from the waist down by an IED. It was heart wrentching. I prayed with him through an interpreter. He was crying because his stomach hurt.

I'm writing this all, even though I normally don't put this kind of stuff on my blog, partially because of an email I received overnight. A friend emailed me, and asked why my blog was so political. He said that he didn't see much Christ in my blog and asked how I was able to minister to people here even though I am so political.

It hurt. Christ is so present with me here it's hard to convey. The reality is that I don't feel I should post stuff about those times when he is most present, because, frankly, it will scare my family. But, you know what- that is when Christ carries me.

Is this blog political? Most of the time, I don't think so. But my opinions about this war do not feel political for me because I see the people here, and feel that we are morally responsible to see this war to the end, since we have already begun it. People are hurting, and while no one likes war, I believe we have a God-given responsibility to see them through it. It doesn't feel like so much of a political question as it does a moral and faith driven question.

Good Christians can disagree on whether this war is right or wrong. I just ask that Christians who think this war is wrong give others the benefit of the doubt. I believe this war is a moral struggle, even if others disagree. Do I preach about it? No. I preach about Christ on Sunday (and every day). But it doesn't mean I can't have an opinion. My faith should inform my worldview. I just might come to different conclusions than others.

So where is Jesus for me in all of this? He was with me in the events that occurred today. He was with me when the window by my door was blown out by a rocket that hit 50 feet in front of my building. He is with me when I'm a little nervous about walking out in the open at night, thinking about rockets and mortars. He is with me when I think and pray about what we are doing here. He is with me through, well, all of it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? You can't see Christ in Chris' blog? What a horrible, hurtful thing to say. We must not be reading the same blog, because I see Christ written all over the blog. Not to mention in his actions, beginning with leaving his family behind to risk his life to minister to these soldiers. Think about the comments you send to him before you hit the *send* button. There is enough over there that hurts, burdens and saddens the spirit...he doesn't need people in his own church - his own friends - dragging him down.

2:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad you write what you do because it conveys a different image then the one shown on our TV's. I think we need to know your "opinion" about what is happening. And I am very glad to read your blog each day!
Keep your eyes on Jesus!

6:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris, you keep telling it like it is. Pal, I can't tell you how your notes affect me. To see how you can keep your faith strong everyday despite living in total chaos, tends to make me ashamed when I get down over the "nothing" problems I have. Keep going as you are, we are proud of you and appreciate you more than you will ever know. Rick J.

12:37 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home