War Stories

There’s a question I want to ask.

It’s a small question, and it’s certainly not important.

It’s petty, irrelevant.

But I want to ask it all the same:

Is this going to be our story?


Is this our 9/11?

Is this our JFK?

Is this our Pearl Harbor? 

When I’m old and gray and have more wrinkles than an elephant,

Will my grandchildren ask me where I was when it happened?

What I was doing?

How I reacted?

What was going on in my mind when I found out about the Paris attacks?


Will this be a day of infamy?

It may already be. 

But it’s not just infamous; it’s twisted.

On November 11, we celebrated peace.

We celebrated an armistice,

An end to a war.

But two days later, all of that was forgotten.

Anything resembling peace was shattered.


Everyone’s saying it’s the end of the world.


As if they haven’t said that a million times.

They said it when the second plane hit.

They said it when the Soviet Union and the United States were ready to destroy each other.

They said it when Pearl Harbor went up in smoke.

They said it in the war to end all wars.


How does the world end?

I’ll tell you.

This is the way the world ends,

Not with a bang,

And not with a whimper.

The world ends when we let it.

The world ends when our hope is gone,

And we give up.

We give up believing in something bigger than just us, 

Something bigger than what we can see.


And now you have a question too.

It’s the oldest question in the universe.

You’re asking: “If there is God, how could this happen?”

You want an explanation, a reason.

I want to give you one.

But it’s not as simple as that.


I believe there is a God.

Whether or not you do is up to you.

I know in times like this, it seems like everything’s falling apart.

Many people have died,

And many more are devastated.

We don’t know what’s going to happen next.

We don’t know if the next attack is on us.


But I know one thing:

In everything, there is a plan.

There is a purpose; there is a design.

I believe that God is in control,

And he knows what he’s doing.

I just don’t understand the whys yet.

I don’t know why those people had to die.

But the fact that God knew that it was going to happen

Doesn’t mean he didn’t love those people.

It doesn’t mean he’s not our protector.


Suffering produces character;

Character, perseverance;

Perseverance, Hope;

And hope does not disappoint us.

Those are the words of Paul.

Those are the words I cling to in times like this.

Those are the words that give me hope.


I can’t tell you what God’s plan is in this.

I can’t tell you all the whys yet.

But here’s the thing:

Not seeing is believing.

Faith isn’t faith if you know everything.

Faith takes a leap,

It takes a plunge into everything you don’t know.

In order to have faith, I have to trust God,

Even if I can’t see his plan,

Even if I don’t understand a damn thing that’s going on.

I asked at the beginning if this was going to be our story.

That was a trick question.

The stories we tell were never ours.

They don’t belong to us,

Because we didn’t write them.


This isn’t our story.

It’s not the story of Paris.

It’s not the story of ISIS.

And it’s not the story of the end of the world.

This is God’s story.

And I don’t know the end,

But I know one thing:

Unless I read the next chapter,

I’ll never find out.

This poem is about: 
Our world


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