Monday, April 4, 2011
about not leaving a man behind
If you have PTSD you know what it is to be isolated. Perhaps you have tried to open up and then there is some smart mouth.
Doubtless you have been told that you ought to gain an understanding of what the Apostle Paul had to say and to “believe on that.” My suggestion to you is that, considering where you’ve been and what you and seen – and done, perhaps – that the reverse is at least as true. You are in a position to understand where Paul was coming from. It’s great to know how to read ancient Greek, but there is something to be said for knowing what its like to have someone trying to kill you. Paul did, lots.
You might try reading that first letter he wrote to his people in Thessalonica. He was in Athens and kept hearing how much pressure they were under. Finally, he couldn’t stand it any longer and sent out his young disciple, Timothy, to get word. He was just a kid, and it wasn’t all that safe a time.
When you read the story of Paul’s life you get the sense of how many times he was forced by the situation to move out, keep going, try again in another place. So many times he did have to leave his people behind, but always tried to leave them as safe as he could. Considering where you have been and what you’ve seen, you really ought to re-read those stories; you will understand a lot more now.
The stories we humans have lived out have so much in common. I don’t care whether it’s listening to breaking out from Stalingrad or The Trap that Christmas, a whole lot older story or a much more recent one, we are all so much alike. Things happen; it can be as part of a mountain rescue team in a time and place pictured as recreational.
Undoubtedly you do know what it is to feel isolated and alone; it is nearly impossible to find someone who knows what you know, or at least it seems so. What I have learned – and it took a while and didn’t come easy – that there are such people. And so very often they are people who love Paul, too. They would not be willing to leave you, or anyone else, behind.