My recent written conversations with my nephew, reading The Promise of Paradox and my reflections on both of those have lead me to believe that being a warrior at one time is a necessary experience that lead me to the path of peace. A number of my favorite Psalms including Psalm 63 and Psalm 91 are definitely written by a warrior. St. Francis of Assisi was a warrior too. I’m beginning to think that one cannot truly love peace nor work for it until one accepts the warrior in our hearts. I was never in combat, but I was in the military and I really loved my time in the military. I still get goose bumps when I see certain displays and I’ve felt a special affinity for members of the armed forces ever since I was one myself.

I’ve noted too that many of the apologists for our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan have never served in the military, they’ve never been warriors and that is the missing piece for them. I believe that this warrior phase is necessary and until it’s embraced and celebrated a man can never be whole. One cannot be peace until one has been at war. I cannot experience redemption until I have been a sinner and the most powerful redemptions are the fruit of the biggest sinners. It all belongs.

You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,Say to the LORD, “My refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust.”God will rescue you from the fowler’s snare, from the destroying plague,Will shelter you with pinions, spread wings that you may take refuge; God’s faithfulness is a protecting shield. You shall not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day, Nor the pestilence that roams in darkness, nor the plague that ravages at noon. Though a thousand fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, near you it shall not come. You need simply watch; the punishment of the wicked you will see. You have the LORD for your refuge; you have made the Most High your stronghold. No evil shall befall you, no affliction come near your tent. For God commands the angels to guard you in all your ways. With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the asp and the viper, trample the lion and the dragon. Whoever clings to me I will deliver; whoever knows my name I will set on high. All who call upon me I will answer; I will be with them in distress; I will deliver them and give them honor. With length of days I will satisfy them and show them my saving power.

–Psalm 91