‘Lest we forget’
I was recently taken to task for suggesting that on the other side of the English Channel they drive on the wrong side of the road. ‘They drive on the other side of the road; not the wrong side’, I was politely reminded. That said it remains the wrong side of the road for me to feel comfortable driving upon and I have never been brave enough to risk it. Fortunately one of our kind-hearted Crowhurst wardens was generous enough to drive me over to some of the First World War commemorations, which were taking place around the picturesque town of Arras.
Another Catsfield parishioner hitched a lift to the French village of Les Moëres, where his family were staying. It is situated in the lowest point in the whole of France and was deliberately flooded by the Nazis to hinder the Allies in the Second World War. Whilst wandering round the village it was something of a shock to see the white Portland headstones of British soldiers who had been killed in 1940, as they failed to stem the German advance.
I was in France to commemorate the outbreak of the 1914 war; a war that was supposed to end all wars. Yet here was the evidence that a couple of decades later we were back fighting again. We are still involved in conflicts around the world. Although we are pulling out of Afghanistan our forces appear to be going back into Iraq. One wonders whether we will ever learn to live in peace with one another.
Faith on the Frontline, a book of reflections by Christian soldiers, offered this reflection on peace. St Paul writes that it should be our desire to live ‘peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness’(1 Timothy 2:2). We may have to fight physical battles against injustice, but that shouldn’t make us forget to fight spiritual ones too ‘with the big guns of petition, prayer, intercession and thanksgiving to Almighty God’ for all the situations we are part of and for all the governments of the world that they may not block God’s desire for peace on earth.
I hope our annual parish Remembrance observances commemorate the past, support the living, but also help us to do our bit to pray for that peace.
Posted By: valerie