Wilfred Owen was a British Officer and one of the most renown Poet's of The Great War(Often called World War I here in the United States). He was one of many young soldiers of that war that put their thoughts and feelings into poetry. Unfortunately, with just days left before the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918 and the fighting came to an end at 11am on that morning...Owen was killed leading an attack against the Germans.
This morning in my post a used a line from one of my favorite poems: Spring Offensive by Owen. It was written about soldiers marching up to the front in preparation for a great attack, knowing their "feet had come to the end of the world'. In other words they most certainly would be facing death. They were Veterans, they knew the drill, when men attacked, they died...it was that simple.
The poem goes on to describe the men leaping forward as the attack and my favorite line is :"Some say God caught them before they fell". Long before I became a Christian that line moved me almost to tears. I can just picture that...the ultimate sign of Mercy and Grace.
Men, human beings unfortunately are flawed and violence has become part of what we are. Men cause wars, men kill other men...so I was always just moved by the thought of those thousands of dying boys, in those fields in Flanders so far from home, breathing their last and gently falling into the hands of God. I may have been a selfish, drunken addict but that image was too much for even me...
So I tend to use that line and it's image in my own life because I personally felt the Hand Of Grace fall on my shoulders during terrible and awful times...and sensed that somehow, some way...things would be OK. I really think that as a 12 year old boy, who had been through some traumatic, unspeakable horror...I was touched by this Grace and because of it, was able to continue to push on and not let that terrible, evil experience destroy me from within.
I was sheltered from the memory of it for years before I was finally at a point in my life where I could actually face it and begin the process of healing. I truly believe that is just one example of a time where God certainly caught me before I fell...and nurtured me back to a full and healthy life. And I was a God Hater at the time....go figure! Talk about unconditional love!
I enjoy sharing those little bits of information about such things and explaining why they mean so much to me. I'm startled sometimes about how sensitive i could actually be at times even in the throes of my addiction/alcoholism. It was those little learnings that taught me that I was not a bad person, no...I was a sick person who is most certainly flawed. And not only that I began to understand that I, as a person was salvageable, my life, my humanity and yes, even my soul could be saved.
That was simply astounding to me because I thought, I truly believed that I could NOT be saved. I was resigned to the fact that I was a GONER. That I would suffer my whole life and beyond...the idea that perhaps, just maybe I could be redeemed...well talk about a gigantic, freaking light-bulb going on. I seized on that notion like a drowning man clutches a thrown life-preserver. It was a life-changing realization and it has led me to the place where I am today...
So..."Some say God caught them before they fell". I say he catches us all, each and every day...if we just Let Him.