Warriors of Peace

As children, young boys are taught about warriors.  History is full of men-at-arms, knights in shining armor, and evil men who must be stopped.  Our society if full of images and ideas of what it means to be a warrior.  The armed forces sell it as a brotherhood.  Movies make it glamorous.  And our hearts tell us to stand for those who cannot stand for themselves.

As a child, I yearned to be a warrior.  I had toy guns, plastic army men, and a culture that built up men (and women) into members of the armed forces.  I grew up a military brat, moving from base to base.  I learned about the Civil War by walking on the battlefields, watching reenactments, and pretending that I was standing alongside those same men who lived and died on those fields.  I was raised surrounded by soldiers, warriors.

As I grew, I became fascinated by the warriors of the past.  Knights on horseback.  British Longbows.  The Samurai.  The barbarian hoards.  Celtic Woad Warriors.  I was drawn in by the weapons, the fighting technique, and the styles of armor and display.  As I looked closer, there was something more to the warrior: a lifestyle that defined them.

Honor.  A code that they lived by.  A lifestyle.  A passion.

This is what draws us, as young men, into the lives of warriors.

50 years ago, another breed of warriors were born into our society.  Selma, AL.  Bloody Sunday and the Civil Rights movement.  Warriors who followed a path of non-violence who stood for freedom, equality, and love.

We don’t often think of warriors in such a way.  Our society has taught us that warriors draw blood, fighting till the last breath.  Warriors kill.  And die.

But like so many things, we are wrong.  The men, women, and children who joined the marches and stood (or sat) in the face of inequality show us another side of the warrior: peace.

Not all men or women are born to wield a sword, draw a bow, or raise a gun to defend what they love.  I was told several years ago that it is easy to die for something you believe, harder yet to live for it.  Not all warriors are called to die fighting, but all of us have been called to be warriors.

We have been called to stand side by side with our brothers and sisters in faith.  We have been called to love unconditionally.  We have been called to care for one another, despite our differences.  We have been called to live with honor, letting our lives reveal the courage and love that pours forth.

I no longer seek the glory and fame of dying on the field of battle.  I pray that I grow old and raise a family.  I pray that when the time comes, I will have the strength to stand and fight for peace, no matter the consequences.  I pray that God reveals how each of us are to be warriors for His Kingdom.

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