THE PURPLE HEART 150 150 Keir Tayler

Wounded men find it hard to move on from the experience to the next level of life. I have been through it and so want to share how we can get through this. Maybe you have been wounded as life hurls the unexpected at you, and not sure how to handle this. I was wounded in both legs in a special forces operation, and had to go on and attack another terrorist camp – wounded, vulnerable, raw, bleeding, and in great pain. I was wounded in the flesh and the soul, having done what I had to do. I was not prepared for it – nobody could be. I was a soldier and this what happens to soldiers. Flesh heals and reveals scars to remind you of what has happened. But the soul! It takes time. It was when I went to the rifle range with some troops that I had. Suddenly the smell and sound of gun-fire ignited memories of terror, pain and ‘the experience’ (a recall). I had to do one of two things; hide OR join in. I joined in … and healing began in my soul. Choices!

I learnt this: In Vietnam the wounded soldiers were extracted from the war-zone as quickly as possible, stripped of their uniform and placed in a hospital gown. Never saw their ‘buddies’ again and sent home with a purple heart. The Israeli’s however dealt differently: they kept the wounded soldier with them as long as possible, kept them in uniform (when he woke up he was still in uniform), he healed with his buddies around him. They valued the warrior even when wounded. So many talk of the past revealing their remorse of the present … they haven’t moved on from ‘woundedness’. Read Job 29:2, 4-9; 11, 20, 25; 30:1, 9, 16, 20-21. Notice Job’s remorse over what he once had. Gen 47:8 And Pharoah said to Jacob, “How many are the days of the years of your life?” Not how old are you – meaning how many years, but days. Some 60 year old’s have only lived 30 years and some 30 year old’s have lived 60 years… not because their years are hard, but because they live life with value. There are six stages in manhood. 6 Hebrew words which indicate levels of maturity. We can live or be working through two or three at one time. We are ever on a journey, growing experiencing things in life. The real challenge is not to set up ‘camp’ in one too long. We don’t need to stagnate and become a ‘wanna-be’ or ‘has-been’.

  1. Adam: Gen 5:1. The first stage as a child, you are working out behavior patterns. You are either male or female. Look down and see … now BE.
  2. Zakar: mysterious taskmaster like Samson. Learning not to give away/or being distracted by temptations. Like adolescence to a young man era.
  3. Gibbor: Warrior, like David, where most wounding occurs. Ja 1:12 Where one would accept a challenge worth dying for. Warrior’s are laughed at now days as it is called ‘too aggressive’.
  4. Enosh: wounded male, like Job, Jacob wrestling with God before facing Esau. 2Cor 12:9 The wounds of life: divorce, redundancy, robbery, assault, loss of a loved one etc.
  5. Ish: Reborn ruler, like Elijah after facing Jezebel. (See below for healing)*
  6. Zaken, the Sage the grey-haired man. Not those who are confused lonely fruitless men who sit in retiremnet homes watching T.V. But those who grant young men to sit in the circle of ‘sages’. The dream and longing of every Gibbor.

*1Kings 19:10-18. In vs 13-14 it reads; “…So Elijah, now tell me, what are you doing here?” After his wounding he ran, was fed by angels (the word of God) and rested and was then asked in his cave, what are you doing here.Go on and do what I called you to do.

So Warrior rise up and go on.