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“Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God.” Mat 5:9

My grandfather fought in the first world war.

He sailed from Port Melbourne in January 1918 and returned nineteen months later. Fourteen percent of the soldiers who left with him never returned.

I remember sitting with him on his veranda watching the waters of the Murray River flow past his home. My grandfather never talked about his war experience. When he returned from Europe no-one told him about PTSD. He stored his memories in a part of his mind and simply toughed it out when life became difficult.

“I think I shot a man,” he once told me.

A German soldier suddenly appeared out of the swirling mist and he saw him fall.

“I couldn’t live with myself,” he continued. “So I spoke to the chaplain.”

“How many men fired at this man?” he asked. “Who was with you?”

“At least five,” my grandfather replied counting off his mates who were sharing a trench.

“Then you can’t be certain,” the chaplain stated. “It might have been your shot or it could have been someone else.

No one knows why my grandfather shared this story, or why he chose me to share it with. Perhaps he knew he was coming to the end of his life and I was just beginning mine.

“No one wins a war,” he concluded. “We’ve got to find another way to sort out our problems.”

Images of bombed out buildings, broken bodies and well dressed politicians fill our screens on a nightly basis. Russia is at war with Ukraine and the whole world is nervous. If we can eradicate slavery and small pox why can’t we stop war?

Every Sunday I pray, “Please God, stop this war.” We need His help to stop the madness. Join me because God’s people are peacemakers.