35 Years in a Trench Pro Vita

35 Years in a Trench Pro Vita


War is ugly. Those who haven’t been can only imagine. Those who have don’t shout about. Those who are there are often mad.

Some wars are more subtle than others. And some trenches are more painful than others. Months on a frontline can see no action. The boredom kills. Being shipped out before a major breakthrough is providential; being caught in an offensive after months of waiting is beyond terrifying. Disbelief grips many, and the enemy exploits it.

The war for life is long and painful. The old lifers – trying various tactics, never giving up, keeping themselves sharp for the fight whenever it comes – have a steely determination. Many others fall away, abandon their posts, and disappear in the night. Those who remain are haunted by their ghosts. And the longer it goes on the more the temptation to flee pushes in.

It is the fear that kills when every force is lined up against one’s defenses. And when the troops begin to question their own position and leadership then the enemy is close to victory. Even when their weapons are silent it is their presence – only a short way off – that kills the soul. In the struggle to defend the most innocent, the presence of irrationality, fear, and hatred is what rips at the soul.

35 years is a long time to be at war, to be fighting to defend one’s own kith and kin. Others have been fighting longer. Few are heroic but many are emotionally crushed again and again – almost like the little ones they fight for. They simply disappear from the front line. Recently, one old soldier was called in to ‘fight’ at a debate. The ‘enemy’ (he knows they are only his enemy out of fear) were in full view. The debate never happened – someone pulled out at the last minute. Problem? Half of the hall had one group who hated the other. It was ugly.They mocked and sniggered as attempts were made to rescue the innocent from their grasp. He’s tired of being in his trench. He wonders if this the best that civilized society can come up with? It was another night in a cold, dark trench. The hatred for life was deeply disturbing and the old lifer smelled the same madness found in the self-killing individuals, who kill from their hatred of God and self. They kill their own out of fear that the weakest will take their happiness from them, and it makes them even more unhappy. He’s smelt it many times before. Their madness is deeply disturbing and smashes against the reasonable like the hatred the self-killer has against the source of existence. Trying to reason with the insane (who mask their insanity and self-hatred in compassion) draws the unexpectant out of their trench and into the open field – where the enemy is most dangerous. Appearing to have reasonable arguments gives the self-hater a mark of resectability, and their hatred becomes acceptable. Their claims for rights is the weapon used to destroy many a well fortified position.

It is subtle, so very subtle. Yet some have fought it for even more than 35 years. The true lifers have stayed the course from womb to tomb. God alone knows those who are on that roll of honour. Abandoned by a many a leader, they have stayed in their trenches. They see that the enemy is afraid, and hates due to the fear of being crushed. Trying to convince the enemy that he is loved is humanly impossible. The old lifers do not rely on their own strength. Their reward will be great in Heaven.

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