PILGRIMS, SOLDIERS AND MEMORIALS AFTER PENTECOST
(Written By Sheila Gail Landgraf)
A rumbling sound could be heard for miles
of the many shuffled footsteps from the army’s silenced band.
These quiet, tired and ragged men
Came marching through the land again.
They won’t tell you how;
They have been mocked,
and thrown into prisons;
and somehow some of them lived to tell the tale.
Many of them stood side-by-side and labored long together to bury those who were slain by the sword,
These who were hungry and thirsty did not march with a sound of victory in their steps.
They had tasted the evils of a thousand careless nations;
And they had known what it was like to sleep without the sounds of their loved one’s voices in the background.
Now they all were going home.
All those who had quietly and painfully endured terror;
came marching on.
With each new step they tried not to think of the horrors they had known.
Now they came battle worn,
Yet braver than the world was worthy,
They came marching home.
Steady, steady, steady they stepped;
Heavy footprints falling with a type of loud and swooping sound,
Like a mighty, rushing wind;
They marched homeward with raging flames of fire burning deep inside their hearts,
Their passion and love for “things that were right” kept driving them on,
They came through the mountains and the hills, heading homeward,
Through deserts and valleys,
Through the dens and the caves of the earth,
Most having never seen a single victory.
Their victory was in their breath;
and it was slowly fading away.
Defeated and humbled and hurting; each man came to the same place of ending.
They marched toward the land their hearts had fought for,
As their souls sought the awesome freedom they had been willing to die for.
A lot had changed; but that had not.
They knew why they had fought.
They had never forgot.
Swiftly they marched until each came to rest in graves with simple tombstones,
where the words they had saved rested only with them; never yet spoken.
Only their actions could be remembered now.
Medals were given to their families.
Honors were spoken over their grave sites.
Tears were shed in memory of their valor.
But; despite the apparent tears and sadness; if you listened very careful,
A faint sound could be heard in the distance.
What is that sound?
Perhaps it is a trumpet?
Far away there is a joyful celebration.
It arises from a hidden and unseen place;
Somewhere out there beyond this time; there is a great banquet going on;
And the rewards being given are everlasting.
Suddenly with a thunderous thud; a chair from the great table slides back.
The Commander of All stands tall;
And a hush falls over the heavens as He opens His book.
The only sound is that of each war-torn soldier rising, saluting and standing very straight in attention.
The Great Commander begins to make His observations:
With booming voice He speaks of little known struggles and not so very famous battles where bravery and courage were the order of the day.
He wrote it all down.
The details are endless of those stories He tells of those heroes who kept His commandments so well.
And the crowns He awarded them were made of solid gold,
As the angels echoed and proclaimed the valiant stories of each soldier in song;
The rest of the heavens remained totally silent and tiptoed closer to hear of their rewards.
Each soldier’s tale is told.
Not one is overlooked or forgotten.
Like a shower of exploding fireworks; the stars began to light the sky in an amazing display of glory and celebration,
Then suddenly you could have heard a pin drop;
Those brave, brave men walked in unison together and laid their golden crowns down before the feet of God.
Cherished words fell softly through the air; like pure white snow flakes, softly down through time until they reached the eager waiting ears of each soldier;
“Well done, my good and faithful servants!”
You were faithful with a few things;
Now I will put you in charge of many things.
Enter into the joy of The Kingdom.”
With joyful smiles and happy faces those ragged old soldiers held up their heads.
Each walked single file; into a blessed land where wars would be no more.