Chaplains and Soldiers

{This was the first column I wrote for the newsletter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans “Buffalo Guard” Chapter 1975.  Not my best writing, but not too bad for off the cuff …}

A military Chaplain could be compared to a parent. They pray with you, encourage you, equip your soul with any good thing it can carry, then send you off into the world of battle or the battle of the world. They’re there afterward to help put yourself back together, or maybe even help drag you off the field when you’ve been knocked down. Maybe they even fought by your side once or twice, but their place is ultimately to support you as they can, and then back off and let you do what you’ve been trained for.

In everyday life, sometimes we are chaplains and sometimes we are soldiers. As soldiers we stand by one another, cover each other’s backs, and wave the flags of victory or surrender. As chaplains, we can’t fight other people’s battles or protect the whole world from every evil. That’s a hard lesson for some, including myself. A good boss wont sit over everyone’s shoulder all the time, and a good parent learns to let go.

We’ve all been there at some time. We’re on the team but not in the game. Maybe we have a disability or lack of certain skills to carry on the tasks our comrades seem so fit to execute. Maybe we don’t feel as strongly about a cause as others but still love the people who believe. We want to do more, and don’t realize how sorely we would be missed if we weren’t around.

If you’re not quite a soldier — at work, at home, or among friends — maybe you are a chaplain and don’t know it. Maybe you wear other titles, such as “facilitator”, “peacemaker”, “supervisor”, or “parent”. And even without a title, these roles are not without purpose or honor. If there is a lesson a chaplain can teach you, let it be this: You can’t be a soldier all the time in all things, and that’s okay. No army moves without the support of many, many people not on the front lines. If you don’t have the opportunity or will to fight for a good cause, support those who do, and know that is just as important.

Peace to All,

Ken

Ken posted at 2007-7-25 Category: Uncategorized
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