Today God pointed out a car to me and asked me what I thought about the bumper sticker it displayed. It was one of many variations I’ve seen on getting us out of the Iraq war, “bring the troops home now” or something very much like that.
Now I know that God understands that part of being human is that we sometimes have to work things out violently, but I also know that he’s generally of the opinion that war isn’t the answer, so I tried to work out why it was that he’d picked that particular bumper sticker to bring to my attention. I made a few non-committal comments to see if I could figure out what I was supposed to figure out but I didn’t do very well. Finally God took pity on me and gave me hint. He pointed out how faded the sticker was, how drained of color and generally aged, and then I figured it out.
A war that we probably never should have been in in the first place has now gone on long enough that it’s out-lived the life expectancy of the printing technology that we use to protest it. The bumper stickers were printed fast and cheap, probably because the people issuing them never expected that we might still be there, with no end in sight, after so much time. If we could just make war as impermanent as a bumper sticker, we’d make the world at least a little better.