Shots in the Dark
Earlier this month I was awoken at 1:30 am to shouts and arguments on the street behind my house. I didn’t pay any attention until I heard POW, POW… POW POW POW. I looked out the back window and could see cars on the street and people yelling and running around. Then I heard my next-door neighbor cussing them out, “What the — do you think you are doing?! My kids are asleep right here!” Probably not a healthy thing to do. This however was a very unusual event for our neighborhood.
By 2:30 a.m. all the neighbors were out to watch the police examine the vicinity, pick up shells and talk to the kids. No one had been hurt, and, surprisingly, nothing damaged. I discovered that night that many of my neighbors are currently in the military, are veterans or are policemen. And I finally got to meet my reclusive across-the-street neighbor and learned that he is an Iraq war veteran. When I mentioned that I found it difficult to distinguish between firecrackers and gunshots, he said, “No, it is easy to tell the difference,” and he began telling me more about his experience in Iraq. His wife had told me earlier that he had PTSD, but said he didn’t talk about it.
The next day, she came by to apologize for the night’s uproar. I told her that I’d met her husband and told her about my work regarding veterans with PTSD and the struggles their wives often face. The short end of a long conversation is that she went home with a copy of “When War Comes Home.” She is interested in starting a wives’ group in the neighborhood and is hoping that a veterans’ small group could get started.
Later that week I asked her what her husband thought about her reading “When War Comes Home.” She said that he had asked where she had gotten it, and then said, “That’s good. You need to know this stuff.”
Do you know who is in your neighborhood and what struggles they may be hiding? Are you praying for opportunities to serve? Are you wondering what to say? Do you believe Jesus can use you right where you are, using what you have, and doing what you can?
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