Today a young 24 year old man, who just celebrated two years of marriage, deployed with his unit, headed for a war zone overseas. They were supposed to be going to a safer location, but somehow the orders got changed “under the radar”. I am a mother, and the young man is my middle son. I am feeling helpless because I have no control over military orders that could put him and other sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers in harm’s way. I am angry with the orders and those who gave them. I am aware that my son signed up for this possibility to do what he thought was necessary to secure a future for himself and his family. But I am still having difficulty coming to terms with this harsh reality.
Other events in life, some by choice, some forced upon us, can seem out of control and beyond our influence; but I wonder how many times we look to prayer as a last resort when it should be our first priority. There is a certain desperation within that rises up, makes us inhale quickly and compels us to hold the breath for as long as possible, as if to capture a cherished moment that might not come again. When we finally exhale, it’s with sighs too deep for words. This is the dynamic of a mother’s prayer for a son traveling far out of her reach—–a last resort that suddenly transforms into a first priority. Prayer, on the behalf of loved ones, abruptly and unapologetically thrusts itself in front of other “to dos” waiting on our daily lists.
Suddenly it is clear why we’re admonished to “pray without ceasing”. I can’t think any clearer tonight. I only know that as I sleep and tomorrow when I awake, there will be prayers in my thoughts rising up from a place within, reserved for urgent needs of protection and guidance. What other hope do we have, aside from trusting a Heavenly Father who sees and knows and reaches those we cannot?
God Bless and keep you, Ben. It seemed like only a few years ago when I took a picture of you playing with your army men as toys on the floor, lining them up carefully and watching over them diligently.