For the first time in many, many years I noticed that only a few people at church today were wearing Poppies. I don't know why this was but I was not one of them either. Let me start by assuring you that I did donate to the Poppy appeal. Helping soldiers and their families is part of Christian charity and a very important one too but for the first time I find that I am in conflict between celebrating war victories and feeling impotent over the devastation that war brings.
I started questioning the meaning of wars in Summer when Israel unleashed the forces of hell on Gaza. Watching little children suffer and either live on with terrible injuries or die from devastating injuries made me question how and why countries seek to protect their sovereignty. Weren't the lessons from two world wars about peace and diplomacy? Into this equation we have drone wars where countries do not even have to send soldiers out to fight but drones can inflict as much devastation and, often, on the innocent.
While I observed the two minute silence I prayed for an end to wars. Naive as this may sound I do think that this is a relevant prayer because there is much geopolitical trouble looming as between Russia and the Eastern European countries and between China and Japan over island boundaries. I fear that all the lessons of post world wars are conveniently being forgotten as countries, once again, rise up to assert their military power. Perhaps there is much significance to the White Poppy after all.