For anyone 18 years old or younger, all they have known for their entire lives, or at least the part of their lives which they remember, is that we have been at war.
It has not had the same type of impact that previous wars have had because there is no draft and these wars are being fought by an all volunteer army which directly impacts only a small percentage of the population of the United States. Yet we have been at war now for over a decade. We have been at war for most, if not all, of their lives.
The lines we stand in at the airport;
The lines we hear from our politicians;
The lines repeated daily in the news;
Remind us, in subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways, that we are at war.
I wonder what the long term impact will be on the young people who are growing up in the midst of all of this.
Will being “at war” become the new normal?
Or, become just be how life is?
Or, will they find a different way?
As these young adults build relationships and begin to see the world with different eyes, will they refuse to be hemmed in by the stereotypes and the preconceived notions of how the world is that has so deeply shaped both our understanding and our ability to respond? Will they begin to both push for and to shape a new way forward?
“And, it shall come to pass…they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:4)
May it be so, God.
May it be so.