I went to pick up my kids from preschool. My son ran towards me with a helmet on. He was excited, no doubt about it! The helmet had a button he kept pressing with a big smile and all eyes on me. He was waiting for me to get excited about the sound effects, I think. I am not sure what exactly my expression transmitted but this simple moment triggered a chain of thought I had not been as aware of before.
My great grandad was executed at the end of the first World War. My great uncle was a courier and was killed end of Second World War. My dad at my son’s age played hide and seek with bombers (he carries a scar to tell the story). My granny knitted socks for guerrilla warriors. My husband Stephen and I both at some level have seen first-hand the euphoria and fear that guns instill (Northern Ireland troubles; Albanian civil war/Anarchy 1997).
We have visited Gallipoli and have experienced mixed feelings of great sorrow and respect for the young lives lost in foreign soil. In our home, Desmond Doss who received a Medal of Honour for saving lives (and refused to carry a gun) is the hero.
As this ANZAC Day approaches I can’t help but think that the peace we experience at present is God’s answer to the prayers of so many anxious parents and loved ones, soldiers, waiting, longing, crying for peace.
I also pray that we can continue to solemnly educate our kids to “make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy;” Hebrews 12:14. As we remember the sadness war brings may we commit to help our children grow to value peace and act with compassion.
– Lindita Vani, Communications and Women’s Ministry, South New Zealand Conference