On Remembrance Day, Wei Chen, host of CBC’s Ontario Morning radio program, invited her listeners to email or call in, telling their stories about whom they would be remembering. Every now and then, she read out responses between news spots, weather forecasts and interviews.
Some simply stated something like this: “I’ll be remembering my great uncle John, who fought in WWI.” For others it was their father or grandfather, from either of the World Wars.
I didn’t hear all the responses, but it’s possible, if not likely, that some widow would have called, speaking out of a wistful heart and feeling a pang of resurrected sorrow, to say she would be remembering her late husband killed in action in WWII or some other conflict. Some respondents related poignant stories of their loved one’s wartime experience.
Although I didn’t call in or correspond, I did so in heart and mind. I called to mind several of my late relatives who were engaged in WWI, WWII and other hostilities. However, I also thought outside that box.
Despite a strong distaste for war, while standing at our community cenotaph I thought: Yes. Regarding WWII, Hitler had to be stopped. Absolutely, he had to be stopped!
And I also remembered, or at least gave some prayerful thought to, those people of “the other side” – ordinary people, citizens who are just like we, who suffered tremendous privations and loss on account of that dreadful dark period and its massive devastation.
I thought of aging German immigrants who not only suffered the loss of homes and loved ones through Allied bombings, but also their husbands, fathers, or brothers and uncles who were killed, or were horribly wounded. Thought of those armed forces personnel who, like many of the Allied side, were under orders, doing their part for their leader, government and country.
Oh yes, we see now – without having a degree in psychology or psychiatry – that the Fuhrer was a tragically deranged megalomanic psychopath, if ever there was one. Some folks might venture to say that if ever anyone were demon-possessed, he could have been the one.
I further imagined that some of those people from “the other side” ache, not only with haunting memories of devastation and loss, but also of deep, enduring embarrassment at the great misery their country was responsible for bringing upon the world through those two wars.
Do some German folks and those from their nation’s wartime allies suppress their own sorrow rather than risk talking about their suffering and loss with their fellow Canadian neighbours who are not from their countries? Might they fear that to do so may invite negative reaction and ostracism? I wondered.
In war everyone suffers, and victory for some may have a hollow ring, despite all goodwill they can muster. I thought and prayed for these and all who today are suffering from war and conflicts past and present.
Our local cenotaph service unfolded, wreaths were laid, prayers were offered and the anthem sung, and moments of silence observed. It was broken suddenly, as with a great rushing sound several military aircraft, including two jets, streaked through the clouds to roar overhead in a low flyover, right on cue at the 11th hour.
And then I remembered the promise of our Lord Jesus Christ, that “as the lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west” so would be His coming “on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory” (ref. Matthew 24:27-30).
The final words and closing prayer of the Biblical Scriptures, from Revelation 22:20b-21 (NIV)
“Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of our Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.”
Thought for Today
Humanly it may not be easy to pray from the heart for those who have been or have treated us as their enemy. However, it is possible, through the grace of our Lord Jesus and the love of God our Father, and the indwelling presence and ministry of the Holy Spirit, who enables us.
From Higher Up
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:28 (NKJV)
- F-18 Jet pic Credit: markbraye; WPress.com ; Poppies pic: PaBlack
Positive reader feedback continues to come for the book “Raise Your Gaze . . . Mindful Musings of a Grateful Heart.” Some have purchased second and third copies – and even a fourth – to give to family members and friends.
Available from the author for $17.00 (list price $19.50) + $5.50 shipping to an address in Canada. See Contact Form below.
Ebook version available. Click: Raise Your Gaze … EbookMindful Musings of a Grateful Heart is a collection of 52 articles from Black’s P-Pep! column, sprinkled with Words to Bless. Inspirational; some biographical. 190 pp. ISBN: 978-0-9920074-2-3 Also Available from Angel Hope Publishing: Angelhopepublishing@glynisbelec.com ; www.glynisbelec.com Amazon.com ; Amazon.ca Ebook version now available.
Reader reflections of “Raise Your Gaze . . . Mindful Musings . . .” indicate how much they’ve enjoyed its variety as well as the format and structure. They like its warmth, human interest stories and encouraging inspiration.
Peter A. Black is a freelance writer in Southwestern Ontario, and is author of “Parables from the Pond” – a children’s / family book (mildly educational, inspirational in orientation, character reinforcing. 39 stories, 232 pp, b/w illustrations. Finalist – Word Alive Press. ISBN: 1897373-21-X. List price $15.99. Available through bookstores, the author and at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca
The book continues to find a place in various settings with a readership ranging from kids to senior adults. His inspirational column, P-Pep! appears weekly in The Standard Guide Advocate (of Southwestern Ontario). His articles have appeared in 50 Plus Contact and testimony, and several newspapers in Ontario. ~~+~~