Written by Daniel Hazard
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."
In their early years of marriage, my parents came to the realization that they could not have children. My mother was teaching and my father was a young journalist, covering the civil rights movement in Atlanta. But after realizing that she could not have children, my mother agreed to join her husband in covering the next big story – the Vietnam War.
But as she was seeing him off in New York, planning to join him shortly in Saigon, she discovered she was pregnant. So off he went to Vietnam, and home she went to Anderson, South Carolina, to give birth surrounded by her family, but far from her husband.
There is a classic family photograph from that time that she sent to my father in Vietnam. In the photo, she is large with child, in a filmy white dress, perhaps even a negligee. She is a massively pregnant coquette, beaming with happiness, holding a martini in one hand and a cigarette in the other. No wonder I am only 5'1".
A month later, my father got the news of my birth via telegram, delivered to him in a foxhole. In the midst of war and death, he received word of new life. In the midst of bringing in new life, my mother dealt with the daily fear of death.
Jesus, Prince of Peace, hear our prayers for those whose plans are torn apart by war. We pray for the soldiers, the journalists, the healers, the wounded, the victorious, the defeated and the families of them all - as they balance the fear of death with the hope for life and a prayer for peace. Amen.