You will be wounded. Just because this battle is spiritual doesn’t mean it’s not real; it is, and the wounds a man can take are in some ways more ugly than those that come in a firefight. To lose a leg is nothing compared to losing heart; to be crippled by shrapnel need not destroy your soul, but to be crippled by shame and guilt may. You will be wounded by the Enemy. He knows the wounds of your past, and he will try to wound you again in the same place. But these wounds are different; these are honor-wounds.
Blaine was showing me his scars the other night at the dinner table. “This one is where Samuel threw a rock and hit me in the forehead. And this one is from the Tetons when I fell into that sharp log. I can’t remember what this one was from; oh, here’s a good one-this one is from when I fell into the pond while chasing Luke. This one is a really old one when I burned my leg on the stove camping.” He’s proud of his scars; they are badges of honor to a boy . . . and to a man. We have no equivalent now for a Purple Heart of spiritual warfare, but we will. One of the noblest moments that await us will come at the wedding feast of the Lamb. Our Lord will rise and begin to call those forward who were wounded in battle for his name’s sake and they will be honored, their courage rewarded. I think of Henry V’s line to his men,
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian . . .
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars, And say, “These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.”
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day; then shall our names . . .
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
(Wild at Heart ,176-77)
Grace and peace to you.