Journey Back to Journey Forward
By Rita Broden
Some men went on a Journey Back
Some with anger; some with hate
Jesus sent them on this trip
Before it was too late.
They carried painful thoughts of all their friends
Who’d died so senselessly
They carried anger toward their government
For its hypocrisy.
Many went with gaping wounds
They thought would never heal
They carried guilt and bitterness
They thought they could conceal.
They didn’t claim this extra baggage
As they went to board the plane
After all – how could this extra baggage
Ever be explained?
Jesus saw the extra baggage
That these men all tried to hide
He knew that soon they’d be set free
From that which kept them bound and tied.
As their plane approached the landing strip
When the men looked out the windows
Tan Son Nhut was in their view.
Had they really been here?
Were they really here again?
This place where many youthful boys
Had quickly turned to men?
The men all got acquainted
Within a day or two
They shared their tours in Vietnam
And all that they’d gone through.
Some shared their tales with laughter
Some shared their tales with tears
Those memories still vivid
After all these many years.
At a rally held to reconcile
Former soldiers from both sides
Jesus looked down smiling
Knowing this would turn the tide.
These men were sharing with each other!
It wasn’t like before
When all their thoughts and energies
Were focused on the war.
Just one man to another
Nothing caught up in between
A bridging of the souls
That no man had foreseen.
Jesus also used the children
To touch the heart of every man
Their rigid walls were crumbling
And would not go up again.
Scars had now begun to form
Where gaping wounds had been
These people they’d called ‘enemy’
Had now become their friend!
These men – once trained to fight and kill,
Who suffered pain and loss –
Went back to their old battlefield
As soldiers of the cross.
But it was back on that same battlefield
These men would realize:
This first trip back was all for them!
To open up their eyes!
So, with all their war wounds mended,
And a new love they once lacked,
They’ll take a Journey Forward now
Each time they Journey Back.