Thursday, January 21, 2010

Never Leave a Wounded Soldier

I was talking to a lady a few weeks back who must have been soaked in Hollywood somehow, because the question she asked me showed such a complete deficiency of understanding of our nation’s military. “Isn’t it true,” she asked, “that the military brainwashes its soldiers, takes away their personality, and makes them feel like they are nothing more than a number that goes around killing people?”

I tried hard to mask my mixture of irritation and amusement. I explained to her that we know many soldiers and their families personally, and they are the finest and kindest people you would ever know. A soldier, though he is trained in the use of firearms, will rarely use one, and then only when absolutely necessary. “I think one of the most remarkable qualities about our military, however,” I went on, “is how they take care of each other. If one of them gets wounded, they will never leave them. They will risk everything to take care of that wounded soldier and bring him back home to get the care he needs.” I gave her the many examples I knew of personally, and also reminded her of the honor the military bestows upon its fallen heroes. My recent trip to Arlington National Cemetery was a fine example of the reverence any military family pays to its deceased.

Never leave a wounded soldier. This is drilled into our military from day one. It has saved the lives of many on the battlefield, and more than one soldier has been grateful for the heroic actions of someone brave enough to go into the line of fire to retrieve one who has fallen. Few nations compare to that of America when it comes to caring for its wounded.

Never leave a wounded soldier.

All of us go through trials and troubles. How much more do we need our brothers and sisters in Christ during those dark times than others. Yet it is often those very times when we are abandoned by those who are supposed to stand by us.

Christians, especially we Baptists, are noted for shooting our wounded. After all, isn't it much easier to go up to a flickering lamp and blow it out than it is to give of our own oil that they may shine more brightly? Many people think that talking negatively about a brother and putting him down makes them look more spiritual. But I can tell you, it is an awful, selfish, and uncaring person who allows a wounded fellow Christian to shrivel up and die when we could do something to be an encouragement. Personally, I realize that my behavior is not stellar when I am going through trials, and I am so thankful for those who stand by me, though I am hurting. Shame on us if we leave a wounded soldier!

Never leave a wounded soldier. May it always be said that we will stand by those who are trying to do their best to live for God, even if they are wounded. Someday we will need someone to stand by us!

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