Ministry Means War: 10 Lessons Seminary Never Taught Me

Jeff Robinson | July 11, 2013


During the unholy morning hours of June 6, 1944, U.S. Army paratroopers jumped from their airplanes into the occupied countryside of northern France, miles inland from the beaches at Normandy. My father was one of those soldiers. As a member of the rough and ready 101st Airborne, my dad had the best combat training available in the free world. He had studied in vivid detail the topographical features of the French countryside. Training had coached him on the deadly perils of anti-aircraft fire; the shock of jumping out of an airplane into the yawning darkness; the proper way to land, roll to avoid injury, gather, and engage the enemy; and how to handle hundreds of other battlefield eventualities. Dad had undergone enough drills on weapons and tactics that he could repeat the steps in his sleep for decades to come.

But June 6 was not a drill; it was war. He was not quite prepared for the relentless ferocity of the German machine guns, the exploding mortar shells, or the omnipresent and deadly Bouncing Betty mines. Basic training had given him wonderful training, but it could not have simulated the sights, sounds, smells, and overall horrors of war. Only one thing…


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