It is not normal to be shot at by women and children. Who were being forced to do this by the armed militia that had taken control of their village. If they hesitated, they would be shot or raped like their village leaders who had been made an example of. If they fired at us as we approached they would be cut down like vermin. Not much of a choice at all!
I was listening to Mark Owen (Navy Seal) being interviewed about his book "No Easy Day" by Scott Pelley of CBS News some months ago.
I was curious how Mark would describe his experiences of the raid to kill Osama Bin Laden. Would it be the Hollywood style glamorization of death? Or would it be with the detached humility that only comes when a person has caused a life to leave it's body? Pulling a trigger may be a mechanical few pounds of pressure. The results are not like anything you can imagine. The images will live on for ever.
As I listened to the interview I related to a man who had seen death in its terrible truth. My heart cried out for him! I watched as Scott Pelley, the expert interviewer, battled bravely to tease the story from Mark. Somehow the facts are never enough for the insatiable desires of the public. Then as the painfull process drew to a close I heard these words "Owen intends to donate most of the profits from the book to charities that support families of fallen troops.
He wanted us to know that he thinks of what he's written as a public service. To get the history straight. As a tribute to every Navy SEAL, wherever they may be serving tonight." Mark's desperate plea! My translation, please can some good come from this? I believe this, for it is what I want more than anything else.
I have published my testimony to give thanks and glory to God for restoring my peace. Jesus can ease the burden of all who are heavy laden. I know I am forgiven for my past. Not for anything I have done. Only because of what Jesus did for me. Growing up spiritually has been a struggle.
It has taken commitment to change old patterns. It has meant learning new ways and putting them into practise. There have been many times when knowing what Jesus would do and doing it have been distant relatives indeed.
The human body has the most amazing capabilities to protect itself and survive when dealing with a traumatic experience. In time though the behaviors it used to survive at the height of the trauma are no longer appropriate. The unexpected sound of Mary dropping a plate in the kitchen may startle me.
But the instinctive reactions to flee or attack are not appropriate to a good marriage. I have had to learn how to hold back the angry words that come to mind. I have had to learn to say sorry for the "killing looks" that I glare at her. It has taken continuous prayer and commitment to change.
I thank my wife Mary who knows how broken I really am. It hurts her to watch my pain as the memories come back while I write. She is my strength and I could not be doing this without her. Then there are the many friends and prayer partners who encourage us. I know who you are and I thank you.