January 17, 2007

Not Even Noticing

So far it has been a fairly normal week, if a bit cold. Last Saturday we took all our cans, bottles, newspapers, etc., to the recycling center, and got $17 in return. Then we went to a birthday party for one of the children my wife teaches. Saturday evening I went running, trying out the new long-sleeved running shirt my wife bought for me so I wouldn't freeze.

Sunday morning was church; after that, I had a meeting in Sacramento. Stephen, a kid from up the street, just got his driving permit, so he drove me there and back. We stopped for groceries at Trader Joe's on the way home.

Monday was Martin Luther King's birthday. The kids went to a friend's house to play, while I stayed home with the dog, cleaning, and doing a little church work. We lit a fire in the fireplace Monday night.

Yesterday, the kids returned to school, and I plunged in to church work (I've got a lot of it this week). Before dinner, I went running again. After dinner, I played with the kids, then did a little more work.

As I said, a fairly normal week.

Yet, in the midst of it all, I made a startling discovery: our nation is at war. I make this discovery about once a month, actually, and it startles me every time. How can everything seem so normal when we have 100,000 men and women in Iraq? The trauma they are experiencing will leave deep emotional scars, and quite possibly physical scars as well. Over 3,000 have already been killed. Many times that number of Iraqis have died.

Our president wants to send even more troops. At first I thought, well, good; we made a mess in Iraq, now we need to clean it up. But I don't think more troops will make that happen. I think it will just lead to more scarring, and more death.

I could get more political here, but I'll leave that to Jim Wallis. I'm just troubled that days and even weeks can go by with me not even noticing that we're at war. Not even noticing...

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