Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Survivor's Guilt....Sorta

So today, two years ago, five of my friends were hit by rpg/mortar and small arms fire as they were driving from Irbil to Mosul in the north of Iraq. Three died instantly, including a lady who had been my roommate for a while. One retained consciousness long enough to call for help, and one remained unconscious for a few weeks (medically-induced after a time to allow her to heal). The one who called for help was able to describe the attack to the military personnel who were attending to his wounds, but took a turn for the worse the next night, and on his way to Baghdad by medivac for further treatment, died as well. The one survivor received 12 bullet wounds, and lost three fingers, and the tip of her nose.

While that was happening, I was safely in Baghdad.

I don't question why they were killed. Their lives brought a great deal of glory to God, and their deaths have only continued, if not increased, that. I also don't question why I was spared - God obviously wanted to keep me around here for a while longer, and I'm cool with that. So, it's not really "survivor's guilt" that makes me so emotional when I think of my friends.

As I said in an earlier post, God loves me and He gives me all sorts of wonderful things - "more than I could ever ask or imagine." I'm singing a solo in church this Sunday about how faithful He's been to me, and it's very, very true. And I don't know why. I'm certainly no better than anyone else, He just seems to shelter me more.

And I think that scares me for two reasons: 1) it could mean that I'm not strong enough to handle life, so he's made it easy for me, or 2) (and this is the one that I lean toward out of pride, but also because I know it's true) to whom much is given, much is expected....and someday, much will be expected of me. I guess I'm scared that I won't be able to handle whatever it is, and I'm scared that I will be able to handle it.

The title of my blog is "Who Said Anything About Common Sense?" One of the things I've come to believe over the course of the last few years is that common sense is something that we Western Christians have come to hide behind. We say that 'God gave us a brain, so we should use it' and not do anything crazy like walk on water, or any number of other things which were counted among the great acts of faith, simply because it "doesn't make common sense."

I guess what I really fear is that, as He's done so many other times, God will call that bluff of mine someday too. He will ask me to do something which makes no common sense...and I'll have to do it and hang the consequences because 'to whom much is given, much is expected' - and He's given me so much (and because I've been such a loudmouth against common sense).

This is what scares me and is in the back of my mind when I'm reminded of how He protected me while in Iraq (not that it was better protection than my friends,' just different - He wanted me to do more here on Earth, while their tasks were done).

So someday, when I do something crazy for the glory of God, remember that I was scared to do it.

And remember my friends:
Karen Watson (my roommate)
Larry & Jean Elliott
David & Carrie McDonnall (Carrie is the survivor)

Karen's favorite song, which we sang at their Iraqi memorial service:
"If I Could Just Sit With You Awhile"

When I can not feel
When my wounds don't heal
Lord I humbly kneel
Hidden in You
Lord you are my life
So I don't mind to die
Just as long as I
Am hidden in You

Cause I could just sit with You awhile
You could just hold me
Nothing can touch me
Though I'm wounded
Though I've died
If I could just sit with You awhile
I need You to hold me
Moment by moment 'till forever passes by

Moment by moment 'till forever passes by

1 comment:

Madelyn said...

Haven't read blogs in a long time - thanks for this one, Melissa. Good tribute and some really good stuff - or at least stuff I relate to - about being so blessed by God. I'm ready to see where He puts you next - and now that "you" is "intu", it's even more interesting! BTW I like your guest list on Ginny's blog, too.