10 March 2010

Do It

The Rogue Warrior series of novels is one of my guilty pleasures.  The plotlines are paper-thin and ridiculously repetative, and in the grand scheme of literature, they have little or no redeeming value.  The characters are static and cliche, as is the dialogue, and the books are riddled with enough salty language to raise your sodium levels to unsafe heights.  All in all, it is exactly the kind of book one would expect from a boisterous, over-the-top ex Navy SEAL like CDR Richard "Dick" Marcinko.

Let me put it this way: if James Bond didn't have his dashing British pedigree to fall back on, then he would be a character in these books.

For all their shortcomings, the Rogue Warrior books do contain little snippets of Special Operations warfare tactics and strategies, as well as Marcinko's wisdom on warfare.  It is these elements that give the stories their staying power.  The reader gets an inside look at the shadowy world of SO, and almost feels as if they could join Marcinko on one of his many ficticious adventures.  If I had to offer up a reason, this is why I keep reading them.

One of "Demo Dick's" little pearls of wisdom is this:

You don't have to like it, you just have to do it.

How many times has God said this to you?  How many times have you felt called to do something you didn't exactly want to do?  How many times have you had to do something that was rather unpleasant for you in the name of Christ?

I remember one time in particular that was very uncomfortable for my wife and I.

We struggled when we started our family.  We had tried to get pregnant for a long time, and it seemed that everyone else around us simply looked at their spouse and popped out kids.  We suffered two miscarriages, and were very discouraged.

During this time, my wife got involved in a support group for women who were journeying through infertility and miscarriages.

One sunday at church, a guest pastor was going to be speaking about he and his wife's personal struggle with their miscarriage, and this women's group was asked to be available for prayer and support after the service.  My wife and I volunteered, believing that even in the midst of our pain, we could perhaps help those experiencing similar circumstances.  We wanted to be available, because we knew what a lonely road it could be.

After the service, the response was overwhelming.  Shan and I prayed with many couples, sharing our pain and trying to bring comfort to those who needed it.

We had just finished praying with a couple who had just a month previous suffered a miscarriage, and I happened to glance up and I saw a pregnant couple talking with Pastor Rob.  He gave them both hugs, and then looked around to see if there was a prayer group available to pray with them.

He and I made eye contact, and he motioned the pregnant couple over to us.

Here's what I thought:  "Oh, eff.  Can I say "eff" in church?  Cuz I just did.  Are you kidding me?  I'm here to support those who have suffered pregnancy loss.  Clearly this couple hasn't.  This isn't fair.  I don't want to pray for their baby.  I want to pray for my baby.  Both of them.  The ones I didn't get to meet.  Why do I have to pray for their baby instead?"

I didn't hear an answer directly, but in the back of my mind, I knew what God would have said:

You don't have to like it, you just have to do it.

This couple was concerned and frightened because there was a few indications at their last ultrasound that baby wasn't quite healthy.  Pregnancy issues are one of the most frightening things a couple can face, no matter the consequences or the story behind them.  There is not much more scary or destructive than being told that your baby is gone, or that there are problems, or that the doctors aren't quite sure what is going on.  Fighting a fire?  Bring it.  Earthquakes and hurricanes?  We'll do what needs doing.  But don't tell me that there might be something wrong with my unborn child.  Pregnancy complications call up our deep-seated fear of the unknown, with the added maternal and paternal nurturing instincts we all possess.  Though our story was much different, and on the surface more difficult, this couple was faced with the same uncertainty that we had.  And clearly, they were in need of the Peace that passes all understanding.

So we prayed for them.  We prayed for the health and continued well-being of their baby, even though Shan and I wanted to pray for our future baby.

We tried to give that couple the comfort they needed, even though we wanted our own comfort.

It sucked.  It was hard to not turn the prayer towards our situation.  But that's not what we were there to do.  We were there to pray for others in their time of distress.

We didn't have to like it, we just had to do it.


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