I am dedicating this installment to a young man from my church who recently died at the age of 25. His name is Ian Kyle Packo, and he was just beginning to blossom with his faith. Not long ago he wrote this piece, inspired by Ephesians 6:10-17. It was so timely as it was shared at his funeral.

 

“Mighty Warrior” by Ian Packo

I want to be a great and mighty warrior; my voice filled with power and authority—scattering the enemy, my blood burning like fire with passion, justice, and joy, my limbs filled with strength to lift up those around me and carry any burden, my suit of armor shining like the sun, deflecting the weapons of the enemy, my shield great and broad, protecting the helpless, my sword sharp and swift, striking down the enemy. But….

I found that my sword is bent and blunt, my shield split and too heavy, my armor rusted and too big, my skin is like tissue paper, my bones like glass, my blood has turned to ash, my voice is hollow, a silent scream, a rattle of death.

But the King came to me, the only light my blind eyes could see. He knelt in the mud beside me. I was helpless to stop him as he removed my helm. He lifted a water skin to my lips. Reluctantly, I started to drink, then desperately, until he removed it for fear I choke. Gently he tried to take my sword, but I struggled against him. Slowly I became willing and released it to him. Gently he tried to take my shield, but again I struggled against him. Slowly I came willing and released it to him. Gently he tried to take my armor, but again I struggled against him. Slowly I became willing and released it to him. Naked and helpless I lay before him. He bound my wounds.

He removed his armor and clothes, and dressed me in them. They shone like the sun and were well fitted. He gave me his sword, faster than light, sharper than a razor. He gave me his shield, stronger than the earth and light as a feather. His blood he poured into my veins, his voice put into my mouth. His servants came and returned him to his kingdom. Now I fight for the King; his life burns as fire in my veins, with his voice I speak and shout. With his strength I lift burdens up to him and carry the weak and wounded into his presence. With his shield I defend those around me. With his sword I drive away the enemy. Until my king calls for me to rest in his palace.

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