“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)
In last Friday’s Washington Post on line edition a disturbing AP article was posted entitled “War zone killing leaves troops with ‘moral injury,’ may rival PTSD cases.” According to the piece, a significant number of veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are experiencing a deep remorse for having killed others either mistakenly or not and are suffering such deep pain that according to former Marine Capt. Timothy Kudo, “can’t forgive (themselves).”
“With American troops at war for more than a decade, there’s been an unprecedented number of studies into war zone psychology and an evolving understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder. Clinicians suspect some troops are suffering from what they call “moral injuries” — wounds from having done something, or failed to stop something that violates their moral code.”
Such deep anguish and remorse for a past wrong leaves these men and women with feelings of guilt and shame over what they have done and with the military medical community at a loss for a means to handle the problem. Often military medicine will diagnose a soldier who faces such internal demons with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). However, “lumping people into the PTSD category, according to Iraq veteran Tyler Bourdeau, a former Marine captain and assistant operations officer to an infantry battalion, ‘renders soldiers automatically into mental patients instead of wounded souls,’” is like applying a band aid to a gaping wound. Bordeau adds: “It’s far too easy for people at home, particularly those not directly affected by war … to shed a disingenuous tear for the veterans, donate a few bucks and whisk them off to the closest shrink … out of sight and out of mind” and leaving “no incentive in the community or in the household to engage them.”
Continuous war without end in sight against an undefined enemy who seemingly does not constitute a threat to our families at home, makes taking lives even more troubling. While the military chaplaincy has offered comfort for many, it is only through a process of forgiveness and reconciliation that these men and women can find healing. Only the life giving message of the cross and the love of Jesus Christ can bind up these brokenhearted soldiers who may consider themselves “monsters,” for killing an innocent person or for letting down their fellow soldiers, their families or even God.
Jesus said to these brothers and sisters:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28).
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
To my brothers in arms I say to you, God love you and he knows how you suffer in your souls for what you have experienced. But He did not leave you where you are to fend for yourself; rather He gave His only Son for you. God loves you brother and sister and he wants to remove the chains that are causing your pain. Self-help, yoga, new age spirituality and psychology will not cure you of this emptiness, this anger or this pain you feel inside. Only an encounter with the King of kings Jesus Christ will begin the healing process. Jesus is waiting for you to ask Him to help.
Pray this prayer now and see what God will do to heal your heart:
Father, I am in so much pain for the experiences I have had on the battlefield. I feel as if I have let myself and others down and I have such anger inside me that I cannot be comforted. I know that Your Son Jesus died on a cross for me so that I may have life and have it abundantly. Please Father, I want this gift and I ask for it freely trusting that today as I receive it into my heart that Jesus will offer me forgiveness for these sins and hope of healing the pain that I so deeply feel. Start today, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to heal me and draw me closer to You. In Jesus name I pray. Amen!
Brothers and sisters if you prayed that prayer let me know and I will make myself available to you to talk further if you desire. I can be reached by contacting the snaptwig.com.