Caught the last 15 minutes of the last installment of Ken Burns’ The War on PBS. At some point I’m going to have to watch all 15 hours of it. A couple of men were talking about the unspoken PTSD they experienced after the war but couldn’t really talk about (back then). One man, from Minnesota, had described several traumatic experiences in other installments. He concluded the show with a comment that I don’t have in quotes but is as close as I can remember it. He said something to the effect of, I’ve had a great life; I’ve enjoyed myself; I have a great family…but sometimes the war sucks you back in.
Another gentleman described coming home from being a POW in Japan and being filled with hate for anything Japanese. At some point in his life he realized he had to let it go. As he said, the Japanese weren’t being hurt by his anger, he was. He met with a preacher who helped him find relief and to let it go. But the most interesting part of this little story is that the man telling his story then paused and said something like, but its taken me another 30 years to deal with it.
Isn’t that the truth. We find relief and healing; but that doesn’t mean no ongoing consequences and no ongoing fighting to hang on to truth, hope, sanity, and peace. Healing rarely is immediate and complete. But don’t mistake slowness and ongoing battles as the absence of healing. No, we are being healed–just day by day as we hang on to God and the folks he has placed in our lives.