Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lower Your Rifle!

I moved quickly and quietly, peering down the muzzle of my weapon as I climbed the stairs. We were in a town just south of Baghdad, and there were no guarantees about anything; I wasn't taking any chances. We had just come out of an 8 hour fire-fight in downtown An Nasiriyah and we were all a little on edge. Now, in an urban environment where the threat was 360 degrees, we had stopped the convoy to get briefed and prep for our next mission. I was posting some of my squad for security on some of the rooftops in case Republican Guard or insurgents tried to move in on us from any of the adjoining alleys. As I neared the top of the stairwell, my finger brushed the trigger. The weapon safety rules flashed through my head like slides projected on a wall at lightning speed. "Treat every weapon as if it were loaded!" "Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot!" "Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to fire!" "Keep the weapon on safe until you intend to fire!" They had been drilled into me for the past four years, and though I might forget my name someday, I will never forget or violate the safety rules. They are a part of me. My thumb brushed over the safety, and I flipped the toggle to the semi-auto position. If I saw a threat, I sure intended to fire. Quickly and quietly I scanned the rooftop. There was a large square structure protruding out of it, maybe another room of the building? No matter, I would circle the outside to see if this could be a good vantage point for us...or them. Coming around to the other side of the structure, I crept toward another set of stairs which provided passage from the roof to the street on the outside of the building. As soon as I turned the corner, I heard a savage barking, snapping, snarling dog less than five feet from me. I turned to look just as it lunged. Saliva dripped from it's bared teeth as it growled and snarled, snapping at my extended M-16 service rifle. I poked at it with the barrel, attempting to keep it occupied with the rifle so it wouldn't go after flesh. My index finger embraced the trigger with that all too comfortable feeling, as if the trigger was made for my finger, and only mine. I began to squeeze. Glancing just beyond this ferocious canine I spotted four or five puppies, maybe only a few weeks old. I realized that this was simply a mother protecting her young, and I lowered my rifle as I made a fast egress down the stairs.

Much like my experience in Iraq (one of the many involving savage dogs) it is critical for us Christians to realize that the fierce opposition we get from unsaved people is simply their sin nature reacting against God. They can't help it because it's bred into them. They are

instinctively lashing out at the threat they see to their way of life. In their eyes, we are the enemy. It is with this understanding that the Christians of old went to the stake and were thrown to the lions. It is with this understanding that Jesus was able to say on the cross in Luke 23:34, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." The next time you are insulted or ridiculed by someone who is unsaved, lower your weapon. Don't defend yourself because they don't know better. Pray for them that God will soften their heart and allow His Gospel seed to take root.



Amen, Bro David. This also goes for other "Christians" who might not understand the leading of God in your life. Because they don't understand, they can say and do things that are hurtful and not really realize what they are doing. When the name of God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit is being maligned, it is right to speak out. However, in anything that touches us personally, we need not to defend ourselves, but to quietly rest in Christ and let Him be our defense.

David Scott said...

This is so true! Now that you mention it, if that dog were attacking my Commanding Officer I would have had no problem putting a .223 between it's eyes!

Julie's Jewels said...

Very good post Bro. David!! I'm sorry I haven't been around the past few days. I've been down physically and couldn't check any blogs. You are always such a blessing with what you post. And this one is no exception. You brought out a point that is very important to bring out and to make known.

The Good Reporters said...

Bro. David,
This ia a really great post. Thanks for sharing it.

Also, thanks for showing me how to upload videos to my blog. I think I figured it out.

David Scott said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. I expect some not-so-kind ones to be coming soon. I'm going to start posting on the "Fighting Fundamental Forums" and see if I can't stir up that hornet's nest. Good or bad, it will be traffic.

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