As I read the ponderings of a soldier, I realized that I understood. I’ve never been to war or seen the bloody battles. But the trauma, hidden from the world, lies deep within their breast.
It is a language that they alone can understand between each other. The hardships, hurt, and agony of war etches itself in a profound way, misunderstood among those never touched by hardships.
It is the language of soldiers.
All across the globe, men and women of good character are drawn to that challenging life. Many more are forced there against their will.
Yet, in the end, they begin to speak the same language. The language of a soldier.
They gather in bars, on the streets, alone in a world they didn’t create.
But they understand each other.
We cannot judge them because of outward appearances. Nor can we shirk their ways of communication through drink or coarse words.
Just like any victim, this is a world of silent suffering that they cannot convey. How many of those who live in a world flush with friends, money, things, ease could ever reach down from their high palaces of luxury to see them as human beings, too? These soft fleshed creatures have no capacity for understanding that which they never experienced.
But worse, they have no desire to try.
Instead, they shut their doors, throw them a few pennies on the street corners, and hope they disappear once more into the shadows.
Misunderstood, shunned by the society that sent them to war, these suffering people hide in the shadows. Alone.
Many have lost their families, their jobs, their friends because they cannot express that which others do not understand.
Some are left on the streets to beg for handouts, limbs shorn from their bodies. Others end up in mental hospitals, on drugs, or on alcohol to escape the emotional turmoil of their experiences.
But those experiences never go away. They become a part of who they have become – of who they are.
For them, I offer this tribute toward their struggle. To them, I can only offer a distant hand of understanding. As one who has been shunned, misunderstood, living in the shadows, and trying desperately to fit in to a world I do not understand.
For I, too, go through the valley of the shadow of death. Like all those on the margins. Each in our own way.
But it is up to us to try to understand the sufferings of those around us. Even if we have never experienced it. Even if we can never truly help them recover – for what is recovery anyway when those trials gripped them so deeply?
Understanding their language, understanding that it is their own between them, goes a long way toward helping them know that they are still a human being. That they are valued. And that they are loved and lovable.
Even if we never experienced their hardships. We can try to not ignore their existence.
So, to the soldier who has suffered much, I offer this to you.
You are still human. Your experiences are not unheard, and you are not alone.
Even if all of humanity leaves you behind, the One Who created you can never forget you. And He still holds you in the palm of His gentle hand.
From one who understands in a small way, I share my heartfelt hand to you and want you to know that you are not forgotten. You are not alone.
God bless and keep you. For you are truly loved!