If you want to learn what there is to know about a person, ask of them their definition of faith, the child of hope and conviction of things unseen. You might get an answer out of Sunday school, or from wanderings through the world looking for an answer to the same question you posed, or the sarcasm spilling from the wounds of a reprobate mind.
The many connotations of the word faith weaves itself through our language, marking the essential nature of its consideration. But this is Memorial Day, a remembrance highlighting a powerful demonstration of the concept. Its validity is marked in formations of simple white headstones, row on row, each standing guard over the resting place of a soldier.
Not all died in war, but all served. Some met their last measure of devotion in a contest on foreign soil, while others returned to resume the life that, for a time, they had set aside in obedient service to something more, for the sake of what they believed.
Those who passed out of this life in war did not necessarily do so because of a shortcoming, failing, or loss. It was, in many cases, a last victory instead, and a final assessment and testimony to what he or she valued above what could be seen with earthly eyes.
Faith produces an order of loyalty beyond the self. To do otherwise is to bear the mark of faithlessness, and trade the vast potential inherent to our condition for a mean and lowly shadow of what we can become only through the Spirit.
To preserve oneself at any cost is futile, buying time with precious currency bankrupting our character. We live a life marked by a beginning and an end regardless. The days between are available to be lived as a noble or a coward according to what philosophy we embrace.
Faith at times lends vision clear enough to pierce the veil of the world, to discard the illusions of deception and grant clarity through to even the mind of God. Love is one manifestation of insight, and from that grasp of truth might emerge the strength to accomplish any number of divine goals. Sometimes—faith says—those cannot be tallied by this world.
Faith is the oxygenated blood moving our willing spirit through to what purpose we are given. So it was with those we remember today, and in every quiet time laced with appreciation of what we have, who labored before, and how we’ve been blessed. To put it all aside in favor of lesser ideals would be a sin even greater than never realizing our bounty at all.
John McCrae, at the very end of his days, knew its power. Because of this, his poem In Flanders Fields, below in part, will be recited today in a uncounted places by thousands of voices as his vision of the concept carries on:
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields
May it never be so. On some future Memorial Day and each to follow we will know the peace they strived to achieve … if we carry on and believe.
Choose to love, -DA
In production news, the last chapters of the fourth title in Boone’s File, Meat for the Lion, now are passing under the eyes of the Editress. As the novel, my ninth, remains on schedule for an anticipated June release, there will be more to say next month, God willing.