I think I wrote this one one sleepless night. It was one of those ones that you write in your head, and store for later when you have paper and a pen. Usually the second version on paper doesn't come out near as well, but this one, I think this one does justice.
The first verse or stanza was from asking myself, first, what does a Soldier feel in battle? Second, what must a Chaplain do for these Soldiers? The first half of this verse points out physical exhaustion and the second half addresses the fear every man feels.
The second stanza is my guessing at PTSD from a Chaplain's point of view of his Soldiers.
The third stanza was something that was pointed out to me by Hank1, even though he doesn't know it. Often in a war torn area we focus on the war, or the people. We often forget to mention how beautiful the country was or is.
The fourth stanza is just touching on the complicated weaving of a Veteran of War. It's something that I have noticed in many war books, and is unfathomable to one who's never been there, making the Chaplain's prayer all the more valid, for he has been there and seen this complicated pattern woven into soldiers.
The fifth stanza is the need for God's presence in war.
The sixth stanza states the obvious homesickness in families with deployed soldiers and the necessary peace to live with it.
The seventh stanza is a simple request.
The eighth stanza is a small part of the prayer reserved for himself so that he may be strong enough to meet the needs of his soldiers. I mentioned that God's presence is necessary in war. The Chaplain knows this and knows that it is his job to bring God there. He is the soldier's bases for his previous prayer to be true. His job is great. And like my sister said, . . . without the Chaplain, we'd all be screwed.
Amen simply means, so be it.
Note: much of my basis for this poem comes from the book A Table in the Presence written by a Chaplain.