Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Looking Forward to the Day After

I grew up in the middle of a nuclear missile field. The small town where we lived was surrounded by more than 300 Minuteman missile silos. All the farm kids I knew had at least one or two underground missile silos on their farm. I remember the sirens of the heavily armed escort convoys roaring through town when missiles were transported to the various silos. Maybe you remember the 1983 television movie, "The Day After," that tried to capture the horrors of nuclear war for those living around these missile fields. It was a terrifying prospect.

Times have changed since then. The missiles have all been removed and the silos have long since been abandoned. Most of them are still fenced in, overgrown with tall grass, and used by farmers to store large bales of hay. No more soldiers or sirens or convoys. Nothing grave or sinister or frightening. No first strike threat or promise of retaliation. Just a peaceful, pastoral scene, just cows and crops.

Note the picture. Standing in a cornfield near Holden, Missouri, on October 28,1995, U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry, left, and Russian Minister of Defense Pavel Grachev watch a cloud of smoke rise after they pushed a detonation button setting off an implosion that destroyed an underground Minuteman II missile silo. The event symbolized the ending of the Cold War. (Cliff Schiappa, AP Wide World Photos)

I take it as a good omen, a faint glimpse of a coming day. Every time I drive by an abandoned missile silo, I smile and breathe a prayer of gratitude to God. Now, I'm not naive, and I know we have new weapons today to replace the old. And I still grow weary of the daily body count from all the war and violence around the world, numbed by the enormity of the evil and bloodshed. But I refuse to give in to despair or disillusionment. Better days are coming.

Every warrior's boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.

For to us a child is born,
And he will be called . . . Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. (Isaiah 9:5-7 NIV)

He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (Micah 4:3 NIV)

2 comments:

shanevanderhart said...

Amen!

Mark Goodyear said...

Awesome. I love the balance of honesty and practicality. (And the Thoreau quote in your sidebar!)