Monday, September 5, 2016

Getting Away With Murder

I was in the army again, and I was having thoughts --- no, feelings --- that to some degree I was wasting my time here, all this marching and the endless paperwork, oh yes, all the paperwork, for I was a clerk in the army.  And everywhere people were playing games to avoid entering the real shooting war going on, even as they said prayers for those there.  And yet, deep inside, most felt a deep pride in being here, serving our country, even if somewhat unwillingly.  It was a good, Godly thing we were doing.  And we all knew it.

I recall that I was in another one of those meetings again.  I don’t recall the topic, but it was being held in a large military meeting room.  I sat near the head officer at the front; it was where I was supposed to be seated, and I and everyone else seemed to know it.  I was a trusted advisor.  Around the table were many nameless faces, all looking the same, anonymous in uniform.  But looking around, I noticed that some present were “different”.  I can’t describe how, but you could see it in their faces, or hear it in their voices.  They were different.  They were here because they were supposed to be, and they felt the same pride in our country as we did, but we knew they were different, even as we politely ignored the fact.

An alarm suddenly sounded from somewhere; I can’t recall whether it was a blaring horn, like a fire alarm or an air raid siren, or whether it was just a quiet note handed to our meeting leader, who dismissed us, but thinking back I knew that something big was happening.  So did everyone.  It didn’t feel strange to me at the time, but as the others scrambled away, each thinking they had some duty they must perform, I (strangely) remained sitting there, like an observer to the action.

Somehow I knew, as we all seem to sometimes, that I was aware of what the others were thinking--- and doing.  Driven by the alarms in their lives, they felt deep stress and panic, and some were killing those who were “different.”  I saw knives rip into stomachs, and I saw heads being bashed in.  And as the alarms and sirens continued to blare, while panic still reigned, I saw all the blood they were generating, and I thought:  “How is this helping things?”  And so I found myself thinking and pondering that perhaps these killers (and our leaders) knew something I did not.  I was that trusted solder who always sat near the leader, and who was assumed to know more than others.  Why, this time, didn’t I, I wondered?

And then the alarms went silent.  People began filing back into the room.  The panic seemed over; the meeting was setting up to go on again.  I thought, at first, that the emergency was going to be just ignored, but I was wrong.  The leading officer sat down near me again and began to question the others about what had happened.  Each talked, rather proudly it seemed to me, about what they had done.  They had helped restore peace, they said.  All seemed aware of the now empty chairs in the room, but of this they said nothing.  It seemed strange to me; I was confused.  Why didn’t they mention what had happened to the others, the “different” ones?  They all seemed to be seeking comfort in each other’s silence on the matter, as if the evil too horrible to mention ceased to exist because all ignored it.  But I couldn’t.  Without calling attention to myself, I tried to get the officer’s attention.  “They are getting away with murder,” I wanted to shout.  But I didn’t; I seemed to be the only one concerned with the matter, and so I quietly stared at the officer’s face, hoping to get his attention.  And when she finally turned my way, I silently shook my head from side to side to convey my feelings.  She must know that the truth wasn’t being said here; they’re trying to get away with murder.  And that’s when I first noticed it:  the officer --- and all the soldiers in the room --- were women.

She looked at me, and clearly saw and understood the meaning of my slowly shaking head.  She understood.  Looking at her, I saw she was a nice-looking woman, not beautiful, not ugly --- not “different.”  It seemed she wanted to smile in response to my motions, but she didn’t.  She acted as the officer in charge, like she knew something I didn’t.  And that’s when I realized she was going to let them get away with murder. 

And I said nothing.

- - - - - - - - - -

No alarm went off this time, but things suddenly changed in the room as if there were, and I found I was wide awake in my bed --- and near tears.  I again felt that deep sadness I had felt only a few weeks ago, when I had perceived the state of our country.  And so in the quiet of my room I said some prayers for our country --- and for myself.  And I asked for God’s mercy, most sincerely.  I asked for mercy:  “God forgive them, for they know not what they do.” 

They just think they do.

I got up and showered; I wasn’t physically dirty, but I felt like it.  It was still early; I had awoken early, as I usually do, but mass at all the local churches were set later on this day.  It was just assumed that everyone would sleep in on this national holiday, Labor Day.

I went out, stopped for coffee, and headed to the small, tiny nearby adoration chapel where I would be alone there, I expected, with Jesus.  The parish’s larger adoration chapel with its scheduled adorers --- including me this particular day --- was closed, for the national holiday.  I don’t know the logic for that, and don’t want to presume the worst, but it seemed the church’s priorities were wrong.  What better day to pray for our country?

And as I now sit in the tiny chapel writing these thoughts, I again see the face of the woman officer, who seemed so confident.  I almost feel like I know her.  And I recalled the other women:  Why didn’t they mention what had happened?  And I recalled my silence.

It is silent in the chapel, as I pray to God.  I don’t know what words to say, as I recall the strange military meeting where all had talked, and yet seemed silent.  And then I looked around at the chapel’s empty chairs.  “He waits,” came to mind.

And I am sad, and I ask for mercy.  As others celebrate this country’s holiday, entertained, I pray for it, and especially for our women.  I don’t know what else He’d have me do, but to be here with Him, so He knows He is not alone.

- - - - - - - - - -

Driving home from mass I thought about how the devil had first tempted Eve, but Adam went along.  Is he focusing on women again?  He tells them (again) you can get what you want.  And women are now 60% of college grads and will soon be leaders of our businesses, and one may soon lead our country.  And of course they are free to choose.  They can even choose what sex they want to be, or not.  They can be alone in their freedom, unbound to anyone.  (He told us we were created to be united with Him in heaven.  But what if we now, in our precious freedoms, choose to be unbound to anyone?) 

And what of the men, the Adams of today?  Well, even as birthrates in this country are at record lows, 80% of black fathers are not there to raise the children they were allowed --- by the woman --- to father.  And suicides in this world are at record highs, especially for those who “choose” their sexual orientation. 

I can see why God is so sad.

And He created man and woman and saw that they were good ---
and now they want to change themselves, to be and to think as they
believe they “have a right to.” 

They have a right not to be good?

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