Ever feel like your arms are full with baby…full of love and full of things to do? Well, my dear friend Leeana Tankersley (pictured with me above) knows that feeling well with energetic twins that will be turning 2 soon.
Leeana is a Navy wife and she has written an amazing book called Found Art: Discovering Beauty in Foreign Places. In honor of Veteran’s Day, I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Found Art:
The war has asked an impossible amount from so many. It has asked us to relinquish husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers. It has asked us to sit and listen to the many voices who comment so knowingly on a life they have never experienced. It has asked us to come to terms with the costs associated with such an enormous cause, and for some, it has been an inestimable cost. Beyond all other burdens, the war has left us with the inordinate task of grieving the death of our youth. This is the most unnatural and incomprehensible grief to bear.
Where is God in such loss? Where is God while the world is splitting at the seams? I have shaken my fist at him a time or two and asked him what he could possibly be thinking.
I have watched young widows grieve, and such tragedy is just about the worst thing to witness in this world. I have seen soldiers, sailors, and Marines weep bitterly for the loss of their brothers and sisters in combat. I have shared a sidewalk with a young uniformed boy one week and read about his death the next I have sat in the stabbing fear of possible loss myself. But I have never stopped believing that God was there. I cannot perfectly reconcile the horrible injustice in this world with the love of God. I don’t have the right answer to such a dilemma that would, once and for all, quiet such questions.
Here’s what I do know: Despite their grief, I have watched young widows survive. Despite their anger, I have watched soldiers heal with time. Despite my fear, I trust again. These are the places where I see God. We are able to go on—not in the ways we might have if this war would have never happened, but we are able to love again and trust again and believe again and breathe again. That is God, for I know I am incapable of these mighty efforts on my own.
I have so few answers when it comes to the theology of war. Most days, I just feel full of sadness and then rage. I hate that our world is so terribly messed up, and it seems as though the innocent and the young are constantly paying the price. In the face of the world’s cruelties—and they are plenty and varied and ever upsetting—I will choose to hate the injustice. I will choose to look for God, even if he is hiding in the smallest fold or the slightest crease, because I know in the very deepest parts of me, undoubtedly, he is there.
The following excerpt was taken from Found Art: Discovering Beauty in Foreign Places (Zondervan) by Leeana Tankersley. Leeana is a Navy SEAL wife, and her book chronicles the year she and her husband lived in the Middle East during the war in Iraq. Follow Leeana at www.gypsyink.com.