Sunday, April 20, 2014

Faith in the Military: Friends for Life

In the middle of the picture above is Sgt. Abel Lopez.  This shot was taken in the Bravo Company, 70th Armor, motor pool in 1977.  We wore gas masks two hours at a random time every week. While we were masked we continued normal activity.  On this rainy day in Germany, normal activity included a Can-Can Dance.

And they are good.  I believe it is Gene Pierce on the left and Donnie Spears on the right of Abel, but I am not sure.

I listened to dozens of sermons and read books the base chaplain suggested.  Abel and I talked about everything we both were learning.  We were both trying to figure out what it meant to be a believer and what we should do to follow the Lord.  

C.S. Lewis said in his book The Four Loves that friends separated by time and distance will, when reunited pick up the conversation where they left it.  All through 1977 in the motor pool or in the field, when we had down time, Abel and I would start talking about prophecy, worship, versions of the Bible, books about the Bible, a sermon one or both of us heard, or a thousand other topics.  

In 1978, when I got assigned to Brigade HQ, the conversation had more interruptions, but it kept going.  In 1979, Abel finished his tour and went home.  Ever since we have talked about once a month, though sometimes circumstances keep us from talking for a few months at a time.  Thirty-five years later, we are discussing what we each read, where we go to Church, who we fellowship with, and should a Christian be involved in politics.  Less than a week ago, prophecy came up again when Abel and I talked.

One of the things that led me to re-enlist in 2007 was the hope of finding really serious believers to talk with.  I never met civilians who talk about faith the same way soldiers do.  

This series is clearly going past Holy Week.  I want to get to Iraq and I have not yet said how Jerry Falwell made me a Democrat.  I will get to that later this week.

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