I’m not sure I can imagine a darker place than the front line, wherever that might be. From the damp-sodden trenches of the first world war to the desert dustbowl of Camp Bastion. Warships ablaze in Argentine seas or streets glowing bright with handmade bombs.
Many a soldier will tell you that hell looks like a warzone. Where humanity is stripped away and hope extinguished alongside that fragile entity we call life. The world over, wars are fought and people hate and people suffer. Empty streets and bullet holes, mass graves and ungodly massacres from Columbia to Chechnya to the Congo.
Today we remember those that have fought for the freedoms we enjoy. That fought and lost and gave their lives for us. For those that were left behind and struggle on and try to remember that it was not all in vain.
We remember those that are still fighting, still protecting peace and walking in places darker than we can imagine and trying to bring hope where there is seemingly none to be found.
We remember those living in war zones. Children fighting battles that are not theirs to fight. Seeing things that child eyes should never see. Innocents living in places so cold and dark that it would seem that all human hope would surely expire. Where borders become prison walls and brutality that we can barely imagine rules unchecked.
Darkness. When fear surrounds and hope expires. When there is no way out and no way up and no way to breathe.
Today we remember. Not only those we have loved and lost but those that are still there. People across the world that are still living in the fear that war creates. Fear that divides. Fear that suppresses. Fear that dominates and destroys communities and friendships and trust and hope.
And we pray. Because we still have a hope that one day, all this will end. All war and all hatred and all pain and all sorrow. Because there was one man that paid the ultimate price for all our freedoms. Whose light shines into our dark places and whose perfect love drives out all fear.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out all fear” (1 John 4:18)