2017-10-11 - Infantry Battle
As described in Merriam-Webster.com the word infantry means (n.) soldiers trained, armed, and equipped to fight on foot; a branch of an army composed of these soldiers; an infantry regiment or division. The origin of the word is Italian infantrie, Spanish infanteria, and Latin infantem; foot soldiers too inexperienced for the Cavalry, so basically equated to the youth of any regimen, as recorded way back to the 1600s. Infantry is exactly what I thought about while walking along side others in something called “A Walk Out of the Darkness.” The purpose of this event, held across the country, is to bring awareness and ultimately dialogue with family, friends, class mates, neighbors and co-workers dealing with suicide, in hopes of drastically bringing down the percentages of lives lost in this manner over the next several years. Connecting to all of these walking events is the hope of further discussions to Mental Health on all levels, including depression, which can take too many people down the path toward suicide. So the foot soldiers bring attention to a cause, standing together for those we have lost, in hopes of reaching more before they get to that place of isolation and loneliness deep within their soul. We can be trained on how to spot signs of trouble, leading others to professional help. We can start by showing we care enough to get people curious, walking through a neighborhood, wearing tee shirts with messages and logos getting conversations started, and taking the ideas learned everywhere we go, shining a light of hope. We are the infantry soldiers. So many great causes do these sorts of walks within the community to raise awareness, money for research, and assistance to coping families. I remember way back in Elementary and Junior High School, participating in the March of Dimes Walks, and upon completion, we received a patch called the “order of the battered boot.” My Grandma worked in a home for babies as a young woman, and she talked about how so many babies failed to thrive after birth. It inspired me, on some level, to walk a few miles (getting sponsors to pledge a certain amount per mile) to help the babies have a better start in life. And sometimes these events are the only way people learn about the issues and the people dealing with them. They are also opportunities that might lead someone to take part and seek help in a safe environment.
As God’s foot soldiers in this infantry battle called life, are we doing all we are able, to go to the hard places and shine our light of love? Sometimes when we go to those places and do as God instructs us, the light spills over onto us, and we can feel the discomfort of our own life experiences. But God, knowing us as he does, is clear that with his help, we are so capable of helping lift the darkness from others by letting them know they are not alone in it. We can resist revisiting painful places; even though when it’s done with the purpose of helping heal others we, too, receive more healing as well. Bible Gateway has 171 search results for the word battle and being a foot soldier of God means we are part of a battle, good against evil, like it or not. Roget’s Thesaurus has these words describing infantry: soldiers, combatant. Roget’s next describes combatant this way: fighter, gladiator, trooper, a foot-soldier; all of which participate in combat. Combat described by Roget’s includes: conflict, warfare and contention. Contention has a few more words of similar nature: strife, altercation, argument, struggle and combativeness. I included all of that information only to make the point I was reminded of today: infantry/foot soldier work is hard. As I walked with my sore knee, aching back, coming off a two-day migraine, I pushed forward because of something that took precedence. I pondered my own personal losses, those of people that matter to me, as well as the ones of the collective walking today. Being in a battle is always going to be hard. And if we are given the promise by our Father that we are not alone in our battle, we certainly need to share that promise with others, even when it may bring to light old or not so old wounds of our own.
“For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.” (Psalm 18:39)
All verses are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.