The way you look at most things in life depends on which side of the fence you sit. This morning, in a five minute time span, I watched as both sides of an issue unfolded.
I don't know how much of the conversation I missed, but the man evidently was not thrilled with the outcome of the election. Fine; someone wins, someone loses. But the problem he had was mainly about the US slowly pulling out of all the wars. "We need to be in a conflict," he said. "It gives people work."
That logic always brings me back to an old Jefferson Airplane song. I can't remember off the top of my head which song it is, only the line which has stayed with me since the time of the Vietnam War.
Which brings me back to the bakery. The man left the store and the woman who was probably in her mid-30's, looked at me. In her eyes I could see...anger, disbelief, fear; I wasn't sure. Then she said "People have a right to say whatever they want, but my husband has had four tours in Iraq, and I just want him home, alive."
She then proceeded to tell me how over the sixteen years of their marriage, he has been home with the family for about four of them. He is now stationed in South Korea and is looking at possible deployment in Afghanistan after that tour is over. When he is home, his mind is troubled with thoughts of friends killed or badly injured. How he spends nights looking at their pictures online, reliving the nightmares he has witnessed.
She said these things without anger, regret or complaint. It was her life, her choice. The sadness in her eyes was not for herself, her husband or her family. Her sadness was caused by a man, one of many no doubt, who felt there was no downside to armed conflict. As long as it was "good" for the country, personal struggle or loss, while sad...is inconsequential.
I hardly knew what to say to her. I wanted to throw my arms around her in a big hug. As I walked out the door, I said something I never say. "Good bless your family." They were the only words that felt appropriate.
I only hope He does.