Andy has requested several new books lately. When Andy asks for a book, I pretty much never tell him no, since he rarely finds something he wants to read. I, on the other hand, will read pretty much anything that comes within my line of sight... but more on that another time!
Right now, along with Trig. and Ethics and his CDC's (which are plenty of reading on their own), Andy is reading "No Atheists in Foxholes". It is his book, so I haven't read much of it, but I have borrowed it now and again. I wanted to pass along this little excerpt.
The setting is Iraq, and the backstory is that an Iraqi child has been accidently shot by insurgents during some fighting between American soldiers and insurgents. The father brought him to an American checkpoint and just handed him over, trusting that he would be taken care of.
"He (the father) tells us that when his son was shot, he didn't hesitate to risk not knowing where his son was going - as long as his son was with the Americans who would give him the best medical treatments available. The father explains that he has faith in our doctors and that their reputation is known all over the area. And so, without hesitation, he handed over his son - his firstborn son, his helper on the farm, his pride and joy - with complete faith and trust. The translator has explained to him what I am and what I do as the chaplain for the surgical unit. The father turns to me and says that God is good and that he knew that God and the Americans would take care of his son. He says that all of life in Iraq is in God's hands.
It does not matter that his son was prayed for by a Protestant chaplain and operated on by a Catholic surgeon and a Jewish surgeon. Those are mere details about the people who are instruments of God's hands during this time of crisis. Here, in a war torn country during the Islamic season of Ramadan, I am learning what living faith really is. I - a Christian chaplain - am learning from an Islamic father that faith means letting go and trusting God and other people at the absolute worse, most traumatic time of your life. I am learning that faith means risking everything to save someone you love. I am learning that faith is a blessing that comes with an unwavering belief in God, and sometimes in humanity, despite living in the midst of the worst of humanity's action. I am learning about faith far from home and not from a book, not from another chaplain, not from a sister or brother in Christ, but from a Muslim father."
Lessons in faith are everywhere, if we only look and see. I thought this was a beautiful story. I loved the part about the people who are instruments of God's hands. Look for instruments in your life, and try to be one, every chance you get.