Archive for September, 2008

23
Sep
08

Daddy, do we have to kill them?

A Navy helicopter, taking off right next to my Dad's marina.

A Navy helicopter, taking off right next to Dad's marina

Recently we did a family vacation to Virginia Beach. Those who have been there will be sure to remember that one of the really dominant features is the Oceana Naval Air Station, with F/A-18s constantly flying overhead on landing patterns only a mile or so inland from the strip. My girls already love planes, and they had a lot of questions about these small planes that were so fast and so noisy. We’ve already talked about soldiers and war and whatnot, so Faith understood when I explained how it fit into that context. After watching yet another pair of wingmen on their approach, Faith looked at me and asked:

Daddy, is telling our soldiers to go kill their soldiers really the right way to fix things?

Well, well, well. My little girl is growing up. What a sad question for her to have to consider, but in the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area, it’s impossible to avoid the machinery of war.  It’s doubly hard when your dad lives on the largest Navy base in the world. I’m very impressed that my little six year old put things together like that.  It’s not an easy question to answer though, is it?

It’s times like this when you realize how really broken this world really is.  I’m impressed watching fighter jets thundering across the sky in formation.  I’m utterly stunned walking down the pier next to the USS Eisenhower, standing 100 feet away from perhaps the largest war machine in the world.   It’s all very incredible to see our military.  And yet it’s also very sobering to consider why this is all necessary. 

My little girls know nothing of 9/11.  They don’t know anything about world wars, communists, suicide bombers, death camps, nuclear weapons, prisoners of war, or anything like that.  All they know is that there are all of these huge, noisy machines operating around us constantly at our beach vacation, and that the reason they are making so much noise is so they can practice, so when the time comes to kill our enemies, they will do it right.

A six year old asks, “Is this really the best way?  Daddy, do we have to kill them?”

I’ve been doing a Bible study lately on the Doctrine of Man.  It’s really a very thorough study of what the Bible has to say about the current state of mankind, and I’ll tell you what — as far as I can tell, the Bible is spot on.  There is nothing in this world that is not tainted by sin, and the fact that we need to spend so much money and devote so many men (and women) and so much material to our military is a great indictment of just how far we have fallen.  When we pay people to have a career dedicated to war, to be ready at any moment to stand up and fight for this country – that they do this as their profession – is a testimony to where we are as people.

Don’t get me wrong – I am incredibly grateful to those who serve in the military.  I know why we need a military, and I am glad they are there to protect the freedoms we love, like being able to sit in our living rooms on quiet peaceful nights typing out blog posts.  But, oh, how I dream of the day when …

He will settle disputes among the nations
and provide arbitration for many peoples.
They will turn their swords into plows
and their spears into pruning knives.
Nations will not take up the sword against other nations,
and they will never again train for war.  Isaiah 2:4

Right now it seems there is the dream that we are leading the world into the Pax Americana –  that nobody really wants to mess with us, so the world will largely stay at peace.  But don’t think it will last.  The Kingdom of God is not the United States of America.  Isaiah’s prophesy will find fulfillment when God establishes the New Earth and no sooner.

Come, Lord Jesus.

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04
Sep
08

My Baby is One

Annabeth's Birthday Cake It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a month since the last post I put out here, but that’s not nearly as hard to take as knowing that on August 17th, my baby isn’t a baby anymore.  Our little Annabeth is suddenly one year old.  She is walking.  She’s saying “Mama” and “Dah-eeeeh”.

As far as I know, this is the last 1st birthday we’ll be celebrating in the Thompson household.  That’s kind of a strange truth to consider too — we’ve been doing the baby thing in one way or another for the last six years and change.  It’s odd to think that I probably won’t see KIm sitting on the sofa nursing a baby again.  That the nights of holding tiny infants that cannot hold their heads up are gone.

It’s hard to honestly say I will miss a lot of that.  Parenting a baby is the hardest thing I have ever done.  Kim has a handful of movies that deal with pregnancy and babies, but have to say that what I see in movies is more like grandparenthood: you see the baby, and she’s so cute, and she just sleeps and coos and smiles.   You look at her for a few hours, and then you give her back and the parents go home … the credits roll.  In the movies, you never have to change diapers that are full of tar.  You never have to put on a gas mask when you open the diaper pail.  It’s clean.  It’s cute.  It’s not real life.

So now, my little Annabeth is 1.  Actually, she’s been one for the better part of a month.  I guess that’s part of the cliche, “they grow up so fast.”  And it has been a quick year.  Since August 17, 2007 when she was born at CMS-University.   Her first smile in September.  First tooth in November – and seven more by February!  First baby cereal in March.  Her funny learning to scoot on her bottom instead of crawling in May.  Her first step in July.

Lots of people ask us if we’re done.  We’re at a church where plenty of families have four kids, but at this point I really think we’re done, unless adoption comes up again in a few years.   But if we stay where we are, I can’t count myself anything but blessed far beyond what I deserve.  I have a terrific wife and three beautiful daughters and I am delighted to be able to call them my family.

Happy Birthday, sweetheart,

Daddy