Recently I have been corresponding with a young man who was a member of a church I used to pastor. He is no longer the carefree young man I once knew. Now he is seeing life from a perspective unilke he ever would have seen in the states. And it is opening his eyes. To a degree, it is making him introspective to consider the fragility and sanctity of life. He is a United States soldier in Iraq.
He emailed me with this question not long back… “Why are people so cruel?”
I don’t know what he witnessed to bring about that question, but I’m glad he asked because it gave me a chance to take him to Romans 1:18-32 for the answer.
“Free Bird” (A nickname I secretly had for him) is no longer the young kid who sailed through life looking for the next fun thing. He is no longer the one who had the axis of the world going through his forehead. He is no longer living just for the moment. Now he realizes there is something more important than right here… right now. He is coming to see things from a perspective that makes who he used to be infantile.
Whatever he is experiencing and seeing in Iraq is being used by God to get his attention. It is causing him to seek God. It is causing him to let go of all the things he once believed were important and begin focusing on the one thing that really matters… his relationship to God through Jesus Christ. Reality has a way of doing that to a person.
He wrote in his last email, “I know that when I come home I want to be a different person and to be honest with you I think I’m looking in the right place to do that with God….” There are no better words for a pastor or parent to hear than those from a young man. He IS getting it! He is in the process of being changed. God willing, when he comes home he will be different. When he comes home, he will continue fulfill what he wrote above.
My friend is blessed to be hearing God’s voice calling him. He will be blessed as he listens to God and follows His call.
I write this post to remind us all to be praying for the young man I’ve mentioned, Daniel Branscomb (Click here and here), and all the young men and women in Iraq. Pray that God will open their eyes to His blessings and the joy of being in Christ. Pray that God will bring them home soon and safely. Pray that the war will end soon.