The Man Who Found His His Higher Power

This was told to me by a man who was once a soldier in the infantry who served in Viet Nam. It is short and very sweet. He was not a warrior by nature nor was he anti-war. In fact, he was one of the lost souls of the 1960's, not caring about anything or anyone but kind of wishing he did but too strung out on selfishness, anger and bitterness to get there. Then he got the letter. Drafted. Boot camp. Advanced infantry training. Viet Nam. Then months of boredom until it happened. An ambush while on patrol and a vicious firefight. He survived, but there was more fighting to come before his tour was completed. He learned to dig very deep fox holes. He had occasion to make more than one "fox hole prayer." He hated himself for this. He regarded this as spiritual hypocracy and loss of control. He was disgusted with himself. He might want to find spirituality, but on his terms. Eventually his year ended and he returned to the States. His selfishness was pierced, even if it had to be by something he now knew might be "out there" but could not understand. And even worse, it might be something he might want, and even worse, need. But his selfishness was clever. It showed him the mighty hypocracy in all the monuments that mere humans would use to channel the spiritual forces throughout the world. His scornful insight was mighty. Surely the lessons he learned about meaningless prayer said in combat were models for what all men and women were doing around him. Like a soldier peeing in his pants during a firefight, he thought. But he was in pain and the pain was getting worse and worse. He was getting strangled by his selfishness. Then one night he did something that for him was a senseless act, looking back, he says it was like a lemming running into the ocean, certain suicide. He knocked on the door of a church rectory. A lemming running into the ocean. The door opened and a man stood there wearing the Franciscans brown hooded robe.  "Can I help you?." "I need to talk to someone." "Come in." It was late and ordinarily that door would have been locked. But here  they were. This man sat across a table from my friend and simply loved him and listened. And then when my friend revealed the twisted reality of earthly prayer, this man said, your prayer in the fox hole was a prayer. It started you on your path of seeking. If you could have seen it you would have seen its simple beauty and the power it had to bring you this far, even in pain. And the man stopped talking. there was silence. My friend felt the love from this man melting layer upon layer or selfishness, until my friend realized what was happening, that something Greater than the two of them was bathing them in Love. He continues on his path, to this very day.

graceful graceful
66-70, F
4 Responses Mar 1, 2010

"I stand at the door and knock and if a man shall open the door I shall enter in and spend time with him"....."If a man seeks with all his heart he shall find the Truth".............."I desire that not one shall perish not even one"................

May his quest be made whole

Love doesn't conquer, it sets all things right.

Wow.... The Holy Spirit at work, melting hatred and skepticism